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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Where voting is -- and isn't -- of primary concern



bcfla.jpgWhen it comes to voting in primary elections, most people in Broward County couldn't care less.

Broward posted by far the lowest county-wide turnout on Tuesday: 10.69 percent. That's pathetic even for Broward, which has a long history of civic indifference in primary elections. In 2010, the primary turnout there was 15 percent; in 2008, 11 percent; in 2006, 12 percent.

The statistics, on the state Division of Elections web site, do not include provisional, overseas or military ballots, which in many cases have not yet been counted. The statewide turnout was 20.4 percent.

Should such a low turnout concern President Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson? Yes. Broward remains the biggest Democratic county in Florida, with more than twice as many D's (572,000) as Republicans (257,000). But, as is the norm, most of them stayed home Tuesday. If they don't show a little more enthusiasm on Nov. 6, it could be a very long night for Democrats.

More people voted in Pinellas County (140,000) than in Broward (117,000), even though Pinellas has far fewer voters.

Here are the counties with the highest and lowest turnout percentages on Tuesday in Florida.

Lowest: Broward, 10.69 percent; Palm Beach, 13.74; Hillsborough, 15.83; Sarasota, 16.45; Pasco, 16.64.

Highest: Liberty, 66.04 percent; Lafayette, 61.98; Gulf, 57.04; Franklin, 52.94; Calhoun, 51.02. As usual, the highest percentages are in rural, upstate counties where residents take voting much more seriously.

Other notable turnout totals: Madison County, 46 percent; Taylor, 46 percent; Gadsden, 44 percent; Columbia, 40 percent.

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 12:59pm]


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