FL early voting Dates

After widely acknowledging their turnout operations lagged behind Democrats in 2012, early data show Republicans have made significant progress in driving their voters to the polls — but so have Democrats, who have improved their technology and tactics, driving up turnout among rs who might otherwise sit out this year’s election.

The early voting data starting to roll in adds layers of complexity to an already-opaque picture. Strategists on both sides are scrutinizing, and arguing over, far more than the number of people who have actually cast a ballot. They pay close attention to the number of people who have requested absentee ballots but haven’t returned them, the percentage of rs who did or didn’t cast a ballot in previous elections and which methods — absentee or in person — rs used to cast their ballots.

The tea leaves can be read a hundred different ways, and both sides read them to their own advantage.

Nationally, more than eight million Americans have already voted, according to statistics maintained by Michael McDonald, a political scientist at the University of Florida who closely tracks totals.

Democrats say their efforts to turn out rs are paying dividends in states like Iowa, where polls show a virtual tie in the race for an open U.S. Senate seat. The party is targeting 116, 000 rs who are not certain to turn out — rs who either skipped the 2010 election or only recently registered.

That’s a common thread around the country: Democrats contend they are turning out a higher percentage of rs who might otherwise stay home, and that Republicans are turning out rs who were certain to anyway. Republicans say their efforts to get rs to the polls frees them to spend resources turning out those who are more reluctant to .

In Iowa, Democrats have a slight lead in turnout among rs: 41 percent of the 306, 000 people who have showed up are registered Democrats, and 40 percent are registered Republicans. Democrats sent mailers just last week to more reliably party supporters, meaning they expect their advantage to increase over the remaining few days of voting.

But Republicans say Iowa demonstrates just how far their party has come. In 2010, Republicans accounted for just 37 percent of rs. As Democrats have improved their performance, Republicans have not only kept pace — they’ve narrowed the gap. What’s more, Republicans who request ballots are far more likely to return them: in 2010, almost twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans did not return ballots they had requested.

In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) campaign has built a field operation that rivals the size of a decent presidential effort. About three-quarters of the 1.8 million people who have d there have cast absentee ballots, which tend to favor Republicans. GOP strategists say voting so far should favor Democrats, because key Republican-leaning counties in northern Florida didn’t open voting stations until this weekend, but Republican rs have still made up 45 percent of those who cast s , compared with 38 percent of Democrats.

Early pickup of ballots in optical scanner voting system counties : hearing of the Assembly Committee on Elections and Reapportionment, November 15, 1978, San Diego, California.
Book (California State Assembly : may be purchased from Assembly Publications Office)

Popular Q&A

Is Fl going to be voting early for this election and if so, why?

There’s one place to start. You can also usually check your precinct through the recorder’s office, but you live in Florida, where voter suppression is INSANE...so BE CAREFUL and know exactly what you’re doing.

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