Nearly one of six Pinellas voters have cast primary ballots
In the heart of Tampa Bay, Pinellas County's push to get all voters to vote by mail is significantly boosting turnout.
As of Monday, 15 percent of all county voters had cast ballots -- eight days before the Aug. 30 primary. At this pace, Pinellas turnout will easily eclipse the turnout of 23 percent in the last presidential-year primary in 2012 and already exceeds the 12.5 percent in the 2008 presidential-year primary.
At midday Monday, Pinellas reported more than 92,000 voters had returned mail ballots, and another 659 people voted over the weekend when early voting sites opened for the first time. Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark has promoted the convenience of voting by mail for several election cycles.
Pinellas' preliminary turnout is running ahead of the numbers in Hillsborough, Miami-Dade or Broward counties. Pinellas' turnout in the March presidential preference primary was 53.3 percent, seven percentage points higher than the statewide turnout of 46.2 percent.