Final day of early voting brings record numbers in Hillsborough and Pasco
Sunny skies and long lines greeted voters across Tampa Bay on the last day of early voting Saturday as elections officials reported few serious problems with the heavy turnout.
Hillsborough and Pasco counties both reported record-setting numbers for the eight days of early voting, with Pasco setting a single-day record Saturday with about 10,000 early voters and Hillsborough setting a single-day record of 28,728.
Hillsborough reported a total of 166,937 early votes, exceeding the previous record of 146,558 set in 2008. The county also had 143,829 absentee ballots submitted as of Saturday, making for a turnout of 41 percent.
"There is a ton of enthusiasm for this election," said Hillsborough election spokesman Travis Abercrombie, noting that the greater numbers were also the result of more early voting locations and more registered voters.
There were 60,648 total early votes in Pasco along with 54,706 absentee ballots cast, putting turnout at 37 percent so far.
Pinellas County fell short of breaking its 2008 early vote record, but total pre-election turnout was higher than ever, officials said, at close to 40 percent with absentee ballots factored in. The county saw a total of 39,562 early votes and 209,292 absentee ballots submitted.