Florida Primary Election: More absentee voters but low overall turnout expected
… Hundreds of people poured out of churches after services in South Florida’s historic Black neighborhoods Sunday to march to the voting booth. By 4 p.m. Sunday, more than 19,000 had cast ballots in Broward County, according to county election officials., (File photo from Oct. 29, 2012 elections of 2012)
By Jessica Palombo/ WFSU News
Twenty-two percent. That’s the benchmark voter turnout Florida’s elections chief says we can expect for today’s primary. Secretary of State Ken Detzner says although more people have been voting absentee since the election night snafus of 2012, overall turnout usually isn’t high in non-presidential primaries.
As of 9:30 Tuesday morning, Detzner said voting was going smoothly. The only exception in the state’s 6,222 precincts was one Orange County poll worker who overslept and opened a few minutes late. (No voters were affected, Detzner says.)
And before polls opened Tuesday, he said 296,902 people had voted early and 856,378 voters had cast absentee ballots. He says he’s heard sporadic reports from Lee and Orange counties of “dramatic” increases in absentee voting compared to previous elections.
“I think the long lines of 2012 sent a message to people that it’s easy and convenient to call in and get your absentee ballot, so I think it’s worth no-ting that people are responding to that. Plus it’s just so convenient. I voted absentee,” Detzner says.
But despite that trend, Detzner says if the 2010 primary is an indication, voter turnout isn’t expected to be high. That year, just 22 percent of registered voters showed up.