Extra help brought in to count mail-in ballots as records turnout continues

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As of Wednesday evening, turnout for the election in Duval County was just shy of 24%, a record high for the third day of early voting.

There was a steady stream of early voters Wednesday at the 20 sites in Jacksonville, In fact, nearly 72,000 people have voted in person since early voting started on Monday and more than 87,000 people have sent in mail ballots, as of 4 p.m.

Extra help has been brought in to handle to vote-by-mail ballots.

The ballots end up going through the high-speed counters, but those that have problems are kicked out.

So far, it’s unclear how many are questionable but the problems range from overvotes, someone tries to vote for more than one candidate in a race, or they circled a name or use checkmark. That won’t work but it does not mean their vote won’t count.

“Some are because when you always have absentee voter has the ballots at home, they may choose to change their mind they scratch something out,” said Robert Phillips, Chief Assistant at the Supervisor of Elections Office. “They wrote ‘not this one,’ or something like that those will come before the canvassing board for review and they will make sure that voter’s intent is captured.”

That canvassing board meets tomorrow and will be canvasing up to and after the election They will decide if possible, the intent of a voter. And if that ballot can be accepted or if it will be rejected.

Now that’s not a problem if you vote in person, because if you make a mistake the ballot comes back, and you can correct it.

More than 25 percent of the state’s registered voters have cast ballots in the Nov. 3 general election, as numbers posted Wednesday by the state Division of Elections showed a lead among Republicans using early voting.

But in Duval County, Democrats have outvoted Republicans by more than 27,500, as of Wednesday evening. There were also more than 23,000 votes by those in the No Party Affiliation and Other categories.

As of Wednesday morning, 720,968 Floridians had cast ballots at early voting sites, up from 366,436 in a Tuesday morning count. Also, 2,954,359 voters had cast ballots by mail.

Combined, the 3.675 million people who had cast ballots represented more than a quarter of the state’s 14.4 million registered voters.

As of Wednesday morning, Republicans had cast 321,007 ballots at early voting site, while Democrats had cast 279,968. People without party affiliations had cast 111,675 early votes, while third-party voters had cast 8,318.

Meanwhile, Democrats had cast nearly 1.43 million mail-in ballots, while 900,828 had come from Republicans. Another 589,892 were from unaffiliated voters.

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