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Elections 2016

NSF: Half Of Florida Voters Have Cast Ballots

Drivers are greeted by campaign sign wavers in Killearn on Election Day 11/8/16.
David Mullins

As polls opened across the state Tuesday, more than half of eligible Florida voters had already cast ballots. About 6.51 million people went to early-voting locations or had cast mail-in ballots, according to numbers posted online Tuesday morning by the state Division of Elections. Florida has about 12.86 million registered voters for the general election.

Ion Sancho, supervisor of elections in Leon County, says early voting helps prevent long lines at polling places on Election Day.

“Early voting doesn’t increase turnout, but it redistributes the turnout so that election officials like myself and those in Dade County and Broward County can accommodate all of the voters. If all 6.5 million of these voters had shown up today, we could have had ten hour voting lines. That is not convenience, and not conducive to having participation," he said.

Democratic Congressional Candidate Al Lawson was out early Tuesday morning, waving to potential voters in Tallahassee. Lawson defeated incumbent Congresswoman Corrine Brown during the August primary. And he says he and voters alike are glad Election Day is finally here.

“I think they have been bombarded by advertising and rallies like you have never seen before in the US. A lot of people, as I go around, especially when I am working with people are saying ‘I’ll be glad when this is over’.”

Though county elections supervisors continued to receive vote-by-mail ballots Tuesday, Democrats had a slight edge in early voting, with nearly 2.6 million registered Democrats casting ballots. Registered Republicans cast just over 2.5 million, while no-party voters cast more than 1.2 million ballots and third-party voters cast 156,000.