More Than 2.6 Million Absentee, Early Votes Cast in Florida

For more than 20 years, Ion Sancho has supervised elections in Florida, but this is the first election where in-person absentee voting has taken off.

Hundreds have visited Sancho’s Tallahassee office this October, requesting a ballot, filling it out and turning it in on the spot. “Over 700 Leon County voters have already done that.”

Wednesday was the deadline to request a ballot by mail. Depending on the post office, Friday maybe the last day to return a ballot by mail, so it’s received by 7:00PM Election Day.

Division of Elections Spokesman Chris Cate wants people to take caution to make sure their vote is counted. “You can’t just put it in the mail on Election Day and assume that that’s going to count. It actually has to be received by the supervisor’s office on Election Day.”

Historically, about 2% of absentee ballots are thrown out, because they’re turned in late, sent to the wrong address or filled out incorrectly.

The most common mistake is voters fill out their ballot but they forget to sign the outside of the envelope. If this line is left blank, the vote isn’t counted.

But so far more than 1.5 million voters have filled out their ballots and forms correctly. At this same point in 2008, just 1.2 million Floridians had voted absentee.

In 2008, Republicans held a 15% edge in absentee voting. The gap has narrowed to 4% this election cycle. The news worries GOP strategists.

We obtained a letter Tuesday from a Republican advisor saying quote “They are cleaning our clocks.”

And here is how voting breaks down so far. 1.1 millions Republicans have voted either early or absentee. 1.1 million Democrats. Third party or voters registered with no party affiliation have cast 400,000 votes. Total 2.6 million Floridians have already voted.