80 to 90% voter turnout expected in Northeast Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Record voter turnout continues in Northeast Florida as people are taking advantage of early voting.

Local election staff has been calling for an 80 to 90% turnout in Northeast Florida and if the trends continue.

There was a steady stream of voters at polling locations around the area on Wednesday.

One of the early voting sites News4Jax was at on Wednesday was in Oceanway at the community center.

Voters like Terrence Jones said there is one reason why he is voting early.

“In previous elections, I’ve been in long lines and they’ve already called the election while I was standing in line to vote and this time I wanted to make sure that would not happen,” Jones said.

News4Jax also hit the Highlands Regional Library in North Jacksonville. There were not as many people in line as in the past, but those who were there also said it is important to get out the vote now.

There has been a large turn out from both parties in all of North Florida.

As of 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the voter turnout was nearly 47% with more than 310,000 ballots cast.

While 119,000 voters choose to mail their ballots, over 191,000 have showed up to vote in person.

More Democrats (about 142,000) have already voted than Republicans (about 117,000), but there are nearly 46,000 voters with no party affiliation.

While News4Jax was at the voting sites, we asked people why they chose to vote in person and not by mail.

“I requested a vote by mail because I didn’t know if I was gonna be here or not,” said Frank Gorowski. “But I filled it out and sent it in but told him to cancel it and voted here.”

In surrounding counties, Republicans have the edge so far in terms of turnout.

St. Johns County has a 59% voter turnout with more early voters than mail ballots. About 54% of the ballots cast so far are by Republicans. A little more than 20,000 people who have voted in the county are not associated with either party.

In Clay County, there is more than a 48% turnout with more early voters than mail ballots, and Republican voters so far outnumber Democrats.

The same goes for Nassau County with 55% of the registered voters already turning out. Early voting is more popular than mail ballots in the county and many more Republicans showing up at the polls so far.

Elections officials are in the process of reviewing many of the ballots that have been mailed into the office.

In Duval County, the canvassing board is reviewing ballots where mistakes were made and trying to figure out what the voter intended to do. It’s a long process that could be challenged because of new limitations for observers, including the media, that have been put in place.

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