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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mail-in ballot requests up in Pasco

Pasco Elections Supervisor Brian Corley is seeing huge vote-by-mail numbers.

Compared to the 2010 mid-term election season, requests for mail-in ballots are up roughly 400 percent to 42,000 so far this year.

"Most years we'd have 8,000 to 10,000 for a mid-term," Corley said.

Most of those wanting to vote by mail are "carry-overs" from the 2012 races, which also saw a spike in mail-in ballots.

With 11 amendments on the ballot that November, Corley and his staff pushed vote by mail as an alternative to long lines at polling places.

That spring, they launched an ad campaign and talked up the option at scores of community meetings. Utilities helped, inserting vote-by-mail reminders in customers' bills.

Voters apparently got the message, of whom many requested that ballots also be mailed to their homes for this year's races.

As a result, Corley's staff is feeling the impact of their 2012 efforts. But how that work translates on election day when all of the ballots are counted is hard to predict.

Generally speaking, based on turnout from last year's municipal races and the House District 36 special election, the candidates should see higher than usual vote totals, Corley said.

"It clearly will have an impact in the turnout, and that's good," he said.

[Last modified: Thursday, July 3, 2014 1:08pm]


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