Democrats seize early ballot lead

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - Democrats took a slight lead in votes cast early and by mail Monday morning, GOP strategists say their path to victory is older voters who traditionally cast their ballots on Election Day.

Pam Buchanan voted for the first time in her 54 years back in 2016.

She voted for Donald Trump.

Voters like Pam are the key to a GOP win in Florida.

She told us she doesn't plan to vote this year, because Trump isn't on the ballot.

That’s not good for the GOP.

The party is counting on older voters like Pam to carry them to victory.

Monday began with more than five million votes already cast.

Democrats took a 25,000 vote lead in mail and early voting.

Across the state, canvassing boards were meeting to go over disputed mail and early ballots.

Statewide there are 15,000 ballots where the signature doesn’t match or is missing.

“My guess is that tomorrow, this enthusiasm to vote in this election is going to carry on, and I think we’re gonna probably raw numbers, we’re gonna have a record turnout, without a doubt, in the midterm," said Leon County Supervisor of Elections Mark Earley.

Democrats are buoyed by higher than usual young voter turnout.

Parkland student Emma Gonzalez came to the Capitol to urge young voters to continue turning out.

“Gun violence is on the ballot. Our lives are in the hands of the people we elect. Vote in every election like it’s your last, because it very well could be," said Parkland Survivor Emma Gonzalez.

The 25,000 ballot advantage for Democrats is in sharp contrast to a 97,000 deficit this time four years ago.

As of Monday morning, more than one million mail ballots remain outstanding.

It's too late to mail them, but voters can return them in person to their Supervisor or Elections before polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday.