In Pinellas, Mail Ballot Central, 8 percent of vote is already in
The elections office in Pinellas County, the mail ballot capital of Florida, is a very busy place these days.
As of Thursday morning, the county reported that 48,406 ballots have already been cast and returned in the primary election that's two-and-a-half weeks away.
That's nearly 8 percent of the county's entire voting population, and it suggests that turnout in Pinellas will far exceed the turnouts in the past two primary elections (24 percent in 2014 and 23 percent in 2012).
By comparison, Hillsborough reported Thursday that 38,976 mail ballots have been returned, which is about 5 percent of the county's 813,000 registered voters.
As of Thursday, 19 percent of all Pinellas ballots that have been mailed have been returned. Republicans and Democrats are nearly neck-and-neck in ballot returns across Pinellas, with Rs holding a very small lead over Ds. The top races on the Pinellas primary ballot are for U.S. Senate in both parties, a Republican race for Congress in the 13th district and among Democrats for a state Senate seat and two House seats.
Pinellas, which ranks sixth statewide among 67 counties in the number of registered voters, continues to lead all counties in the number of ballots mailed and not yet returned at 201,000. Miami-Dade is a close second at 198,000. That number is a moving target and changes daily as more completed ballots arrive at county offices.
Election day is Tuesday, Aug. 30, and the last day a voter can request a ballot be mailed is Wednesday, Aug. 24.