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About 42 percent of Florida’s registered voters have already cast ballots in the 2020 general election following the first weekend of early in-person voting.
With eight days to go until Nov. 3, more ballots have already been cast — 6,018,430 — than the total number of mail and early in-person ballots cast in the 2018 general election. The total so far includes Florida’s most high-profile resident; President Donald Trump voted in person Saturday in Palm Beach County.
Republicans have continued to narrow the gap with Democrats in ballots cast, with 2.2 million Republicans having voted so far compared to nearly 2.6 million Democrats. No-party-affiliated voters, which make up about a quarter of registered voters, have also had strong numbers in early voting so far, casting nearly 1.2 million ballots.
Campaigns are urging voters to cast ballots early; doing so can help them focus resources on turning out remaining voters on Election Day.
The question still remains whether these numbers show a shift away from Election Day or are indicative of the potential for record turnout.
To equal 2016′s turnout of 75 percent, 4.78 million more Floridians will have to vote from now until 7 p.m. on Nov. 3. To equal the 63 percent that turned out for 2018′s non-presidential year, 3.05 million more Floridians will need to vote.
The modern record for turnout in Florida is the 1992 presidential election, when 83 percent of the electorate voted. To match that, 5.9 million more Floridians would still have to vote.
Saturday was the deadline for Floridians to request that a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed to them, although voters can still choose to pick one up in person.
As of Monday morning, there are still about 2.2 million Floridians who have requested mail ballots and not yet returned them, including 890,000 Democrats, 688,000 Republicans and 569,000 no-party-affiliated voters.
Early in-person voting is expected to continue to be popular over the next several days, with elections officials expecting a surge of interest in the final days that it’s available. Early voting continues through Oct. 31 in Pasco, Citrus and Hernando, and through Nov. 1 in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee and Polk.
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WHY A FLORIDA CITY’S BLACK VOTERS BEAT NATIONAL AVERAGES: Turnout is 10 percent over the national average. That’s been true for generations. The story of Chester James Sr. helps explain why.
POSTAL SERVICE CONCERNS: What’s going on with the U.S. Postal Service and should Florida be worried?
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