TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida voters are on track to set a record for absentee and early voting in an off-year election.
More than 1.4 million voters have already cast a ballot in Florida, and those who haven't already voted should expect more mail and phone calls from both major parties between now and election day.
More than a quarter million pieces of mail are showing up across the state that contrast a voter's voting record over the last four cycles with his or her precinct. Sponsored by organized labor, the message has been proven to boost turnout.
"With just a little bit of social pressure, that nudges people, you know, (from), 'I should vote' to 'I am voting,'" said Rich Templin of FLAFLCIO.
Early and absentee voting is expected to surpass the 2.3 million votes cast before the 2010 election. Republicans hold a 10 percent lead in party registration for votes already cast this year.
At State Republican headquarters, the chase is on for absentee ballots that have yet to be returned.
"We have offices like this all across the state, obviously full of volunteers, all day every day, making those phone calls, getting those absentee ballots returned and knocking on doors," said Susan Hepworth of the Republican Party of Florida.
By the end of the week, more than 1.5 million ballots will have been cast.
"Yesterday I saw some numbers for South Florida, and the turnout rate for early voting was higher than it was in 2010," said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. "In one county by 40 percent. So, there's a lot of people engaged in this election."
Winning Nov. 4 is all about turnout. More mail is on the way.
Elections officials are being told to expect the unexpected. That includes the potential for a governor's race so close it triggers a recount.
Recounts are required when the vote totals are less than half a percentage point apart. If 5 million people vote, a recount would occur if the candidates were within 25,000 votes of each other. Yourvoteflorida.com is the official state website for answering questions about when, where and how to vote as well as dozens of other voting topics.