Daytona Beach, FL - Early voting comes to an end in Volusia and Flagler counties, and the results show a late surge from registered Democrats in Volusia even as there seems to be more overall interest from Republicans in Tuesday's primary elections.
The blue side of the political aisle came out in force the final four days of early voting in Volusia, giving Democrats (46%) a slight edge over the GOP (45%) after Republicans held the advantage over the first five days.
17,186 ballots were cast during the nine days of early voting in Volusia, with Democrats casting 7,936 ballots and Republicans at 7,677, a difference of only 259 votes. Other parties/no party affiliation made up the remaining 1,573.
The advantage is far more pronounced for Republicans in vote-by-mail, with registered GOP voters casting 47% of ballots returned so far (21,069). Democrats have returned 16,296, giving them 37% of the 44,731 ballots into the county Supervisor of Elections office. The remainder (7,366) are from people with other parties or no party affiliation.
Over 2,000 early votes were cast in each of the final four days of early voting. Saturday (August 25)'s total of 2,301 was the biggest single-day amount, followed by Friday (2,166), Sunday (2,067) and Thursday (2,010). Every other day was above 1,750 except for August 19th (976).
Of the county's five early voting sites, the New Smyrna Beach Regional Library had the most ballots cast over the nine days (4.215), the only location with over 4,000 votes. Ormond Beach Regional Library came in second at 3,431, followed by City Island Library in Daytona Beach (3,294), Deltona Regional Library (3,283) and the Volusia County Administration Building in DeLand (2,963).
Supervisor of Elections Lisa Lewis thinks totals were higher in New Smyrna Beach and Ormond Beach due to contentious races on the city ballots.
The 17,186 early vote ballots cast this primary is larger than all the other primaries in Volusia since 2010, the last time the incumbent in the Florida governor's race wasn't on the ballot.
As of Sunday (August 26th), 61,917 total ballots have been cast in Volusia, putting overall voter turnout at just under 16%. Lewis thinks that number could get above 30% once Election Day results are tallied.
Overall turnout is just under 18% with 14,475 ballots cast, according to the county Supervisor of Elections office.
Votes are split nearly equally between mail (6,991) and early voting (7,246).
As you might expect with the county having over 8,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats, GOP voters hold the big advantage in ballots cast at 53% (7,768), followed by Democrats at 38% (5,465) and other party/no party voters at 1,242 (9%).
The GOP also leads Democrats in early votes cast (4,011 to 2,782) and vote-by-mail (3,773 to 2,701).
The Flagler County Public Library in Palm Coast saw the most votes cast during early voting (3,307), followed by the Palm Coast Community Center (2,210) and the Supervisor of Elections office in Bunnell (1,730).