Voter turnout so far in Tampa Bay soars past 2014 midterms

Counties are seeing double-digit percentage point increases.
OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times Early voters arrive to cast their ballot at the Cyrus Green Recreation Center precinct in Tampa on Oct. 23. Voter turnout in Pinellas and Hillsborough has soared past turnout at this point in the 2014 mid-term elections.
OCTAVIO JONES | Times Early voters arrive to cast their ballot at the Cyrus Green Recreation Center precinct in Tampa on Oct. 23. Voter turnout in Pinellas and Hillsborough has soared past turnout at this point in the 2014 mid-term elections.
Published November 5 2018

If turnout is an indication, voters in Tampa Bay are a lot more fired up than they were at this point before the last mid-term elections.

Turnout in Hillsborough County had reached about 40 percent by Monday morning, a roughly 13 point increase from the 27 percent turnout rate on the Monday before the 2014 midterms, according to the office of Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer. Of the county's 857,266 registered voters, 346,997 voted early in person or returned a mailed ballot.

Democrats held an edge in ballots cast, 148,401 to the Republicans' 126,167.

The Pinellas turnout rate had climbed to 41.5 percent, with 272,669 of the county's 666,876 registered voters returning a mail ballot or voting early, according to the office of Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark.  Turnout at this point for the 2014 mid-term elections was about 34 percent, an office spokesman said.

Again, Democrats had an edge, though a slight one, accounting for 110,560 ballots case compared to  108,449.

In Pasco, nearly 35 percent of the county's 351,812 voters had voted early or by mail, Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley's website shows. In the 2014 mid-term election, roughly 26 percent of Pasco's voters voted early or by mail.

Turnout in Hernando County had ticked just past 36 percent by Monday, compared to about 26 percent in 2014, Supervisor of Elections Shirley Anderson said.

The turnout rates were expected to climb Monday as elections workers counted mail ballots that continued to arrive.

The strong numbers in the Tampa Bay area helped push Florida's turnout past the 5-million mark.

Corley expects the total number of mail ballots cast in Pasco will surpass the number in the 2016 presidential election, a fact that "blows my mind," he said. He predicted a total turnout rate near 65 percent, a roughly 12 point increase from the 2014 mid-terms.

"The bottom line is voters are engaged and they get why they should come out and vote," Corley said. "For what we do, this is exciting. We live for this."

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