Archives for category: Florida

Of the 1.1m Floridians who have cast vote-by-mail ballots that have been received by the state’s 67 SOEs through yesterday (Friday, 22 October 2016), nearly half (46%) did not vote an absentee ballot in the 2012 General Election.

In fact, of the 1.1m VBM cast thus far, 215.6k didn’t vote in the 2012 GE at all. So, one out of five VBMs received by SOEs are from voters who didn’t participate in the 2012 GE.

Of the new VBM voters, some 35k registered to vote in 2016, including 5,312 who’ve registered since September 1, 2016.

More Democrats than Republicans who’ve already cast a VBM either skipped or registered subsequent to the November 6, 2012 GE.  82.7k Democrats (18.7%) and 76.5k Republicans (16.5%) have not voted for president since at least 2008, if ever.

As I’ve noted elsewhere, though, the big surge in VBM in 2016 in Florida is with No Party Affiliates.  Nearly 51k of the 172.7k NPAs who have cast VBMs so far are voting for the first time (or at least since 2008).

So, who are these newbie NPAs who didn’t vote in 2012?

Nearly 18% are Hispanic, but that’s below the 22% of all NPAs in the voter file who are Hispanic (as of September 1, 2016).   Over 68% of the NPAs who’ve voted a VBM ballot but  who didn’t vote in 2012 are white, well above the 59% of all NPAs in the voter file who are white.

However, a greater percentage of VBM voters who didn’t vote in 2012  (compared to those who voted in 2012) are Hispanic and a smaller percentage are white.

So, lots of new voters are casting mail ballots for the first time. The demographics look pretty comparable to VBM voters who cast ballots by this mode in 2012.

Of course, lots of VBM (and early-in-person and Election Day) ballots to come…





Democrats holding their own with Republicans in vote-by-mail ballots received by SOEs as of close-of-business yesterday. Both well ahead of comparable 2012 days-before-election figures.

The big news, though, is the nearly 172k VBM cast by No Party Affiliates. That’s more than 2x as many cast by NPAs at this stage in 2012.


As of this morning, here’s the received mail ballots by party, with a daily comparison with 2012.  More here.


Not surprisingly, whites are far exceeding racial and ethnic minorities in the share of absentee ballots that have been returned as of this morning’s reporting period.

Of the 885.7k ballots received, 76.5% have been cast by white voters.  87% of the 369k Republicans who have voted are white; roughly 10% of Republican ballots have been cast by Hispanics and less than 1% by blacks.

Slightly more than 66% of the 357k Democrats who have voted are white.  So far, Hispanics have cast 17% of Democratic ballots and blacks another 12%.

Perhaps the biggest story is that women are far exceeding men in the vote-by-mail ballots that have so far been returned: 55% of all ballots have been cast by women and 44% by men, with the remainder cast by those whose gender is not reported.

Geographically, Miami-Dade leads the way, accounting for over 10% of all VBM cast. Another 9% come from Broward, and Palm Beach accounts for 7% of all VBM cast. The other top VBM counties are Hillsborough 6.5% Orange 6%; Pinellas another 5%; and Duval 4.6%.

My colleague, Mike McDonald, is mapping Florida VBMs by county in 2016 relative to the 2012 totals, here.


On December 31, 2012, a month and change after President Obama’s re-election when he carried Florida a second time, of the 12.6m registered voters in Florida (including Active, Inactive, and Pre-registered 16 & 17 year-olds ), Democrats comprised 40%, No Party Affiliates (NPAs) made up 21%, and Republicans accounted for 35% of the electorate.

Flash-forward to August 31, 2016. Democrats now make up only 38%, NPAs are up to 24%, and Republicans continue to comprise roughly 35% of the overall statewide electorate, which now weighs in at a hefty 13.7m registered voters.

And there was much rejoicing among Republicans…as the gap between registered Democrats and Republicans had narrowed, from roughly 595k to just 419k of all Active, Inactive, and Pre-registered voters on the statewide voter rolls, as of August 31, 2016.

But as I’ve tirelessly Tweeted and conversed with the media, this narrowing (by 176k voters) does not mean that Republicans have out-registered Democrats over the past 3 1/2 years.

As I’ve repeatedly shown, Democrats have actually out-registered Republicans over this period of time. 

Below I report the 2.32m newly registered voters, by party, of those who registered between January 1, 2013 and August 31, 2016 and who are still in the voter file. These are not voters who registered prior to January 1, 2013 and who subsequently changed their party registrations. No, these are NEWLY registered voters over the 3 1/2 years as of August 31, 2016.


As the table shows, of the 2.32m voters who registered during the 44 month period and who are in the statewide Florida voter file (as of August 31, 2016), 31% are registered as Democrats, 38% are NPAs, and 28% are Republicans.

In real numbers, over 80k more Democrats than Republicans are in the voter file who registered during the 3 1/2 year period. More precisely, for those of you who really like facts, as of August 31, 2016, there are 80,329 more Democrats who registered since January 1, 2013 than Republicans who registered over the same period of time and who are in the statewide voter file as of August 31, 2016.

So, with Democrats out-pacing Republicans on new registrations over the past 44 months, how is it possible that the the registration gap between the Democratic and Republican parties has closed by some 176k registered voters, with the relative percentage of Republicans growing and the percentage of Democrats decreasing?

The main reason is that the attrition rate over the past 44 months of previously registered Democrats is larger than that of Republicans who were registered prior to January 1, 2013. Some 1.24m voters have ‘exited’ the voter file over the 3 1/2 years.  Some 514.9k Democrats who were registered prior to 2012 are no longer on the rolls; 435.8k Republicans who were on the books back on December 31, 2012, are no longer registered to vote.

That’s a Democratic disadvantage of 79k voters, and it largely accounts for the Republicans closing the overall voter registration gap in the Sunshine State.

The balance –some 97k voters — accounting for Republicans closing the statewide voter registration lead held by Democrats is due to party-switching.

Of the 11.3m voters in Florida who were registered on January 1, 2013 and who remained on the voter rolls on August 31, 2016, some 216k former Democrats are no longer (as of August 31, 2016) registered with the Democratic Party. There’s also been party-switching among formerly registered Republicans, but it has not been as drastic: some 120k registered voters who were registered as Republicans on December 31, 2012 are no longer registered Republicans (as of August 31, 2016).

I’ll have fuller examination of  party-switching in a subsequent post, as I’m currently working on an academic paper on the topic that delves down into much greater detail.

So there you have it. The great mystery of the narrowing voter registration gap between Democrats and Republicans in Florida has been solved.

No conspiracy. No skewing of the data. Just the facts.

Yes, I know facts are tough to swallow for some, especially in these heated times.

But if you just chew on them long enough, you really can digest them. Really. Just try.

I still have hope that the United States can become a Mastication Nation.

Of the more-than 310k vote-by-mail ballots received (not yet tallied) by Florida’s 67 SOEs, ElectionSmith, Inc. has tallied voter file information about 99.7% of those who have already voted in the presidential election. By far–over 82% — of the VBM received have been cast by white voters. Another 7% have been cast by blacks, 6% by Hispanics, and the balance other racial/ethnic groups.

Women have cast roughly 165k of the 310k VBM, accounting for roughly 53.2% of the VBM cast. That’s only slightly more than the 52.8% of women who make up active voters in the state.

Those under the age of 30–many of whom have never licked a postage stamp– have cast only 3.7% of all VBM thus far, well below the 17% of the 12.46m active voters in Florida. On the other hand, registered voters 61 and over have cast 66.6% of the VBM, nearly double the 34.3% of active voters of that age who are registered to vote.

Not surprisingly, Baby-boomers and the Greatest Generation sure do like their vote-by-mail in Florida!

Of the roughly 206k voters 61 and over who have cast VBM thus far, 87% are white. What is surprising, however, is of these 179k older white voters who’ve cast VBM thus far,  less than half (47%) are Republicans, which is less than the share of older white Republicans in the September 2016, from which these data are drawn.

Again, it’s way too early to divine too much from these VBM, not only for overall turnout or support for Trump or Clinton, but also for overall VBM figures.

To be sure, these earliest of early VBM voters are likely strongest of strong partisans, unlikely to be moved by any 11th hour revelations in the presidential campaign.

I expect there to be upwards of 3m VBM cast in Florida, so there’s still a long way to go!

Well, judging by Vote-by-Mail ballots received by county Supervisors of Elections, it certainly looks like there’s going to be strong voter turnout in Florida this presidential election.

As of this morning, Democrats have returned nearly 125k vote-by-mail ballots, only 6,000 ballots less than Republicans, who have owned absentee ballots in the Sunshine State since the state adopted the no-excuse mode of voting.

Election Day in 2012 was November 6; this year, it’s November 8.  As such, if we compare October 11, 2012 absentee ballots received with October 13, 2016 vote-by-mail absentee ballots received, Republicans are up only 34.7k from 2012; Democrats are up 36.3k ballots compared to October 11, 2012 returns. Also notable is that over 8k more ballots from No Party Affiliates (NPAs) have been received by the 67 county SOEs than over the same time-frame in 1012.

Still way too early to draw too many conclusions — most notably because it’s possible that Democrats who are voting by mail this year may have been voting early in-person or on Election Day in 2012, and are merely substituting one mode of voting for another.

But I’ll have that analysis in the coming days…



Overall, over the past month, Third Party Voter Registration Organizations (3PVROs) have submitted to the state’s 67 Supervisors of Elections (SOEs) some 21,952 “non-blank” voter registration forms.

The total number of registration forms was as reported today, October 10, 2016, by the Florida Division of Elections. These data come with the following disclaimer from the Florida Division of Elections:

DISCLAIMER: The Florida Third Party Voter Registration (3PVRO) database is not intended, nor should it be used, as a source for Florida voter registration statistics. The 3PVRO database reflects the cumulative number of voter registration applications submitted by a 3PVRO to the state since the time of a 3PVRO’s registration. Please note that a voter application submitted by a political party does not necessarily translate directly into a voter registered for that party as all 3PVROs must collect and submit registrations regardless of party affiliation.

Several other advocacy groups also submitted thousands of new state and federal registration forms over the past month, among them:

National Council of La Raza/Democracia USA: 3,703

New Florida Majority Education Fund: 3,420

GRSG Company: 2,228

Not all of these new voter registration forms will be processed, and they represent a fraction of all the successful new voter registrations this year. Many thousands more will be processed by tomorrow, Florida’s voter registration deadline. Of course, many qualified citizens who have signed voter registration forms may not have their applications processed due to the destruction wrought by Hurricane Matthew in several counties, which is why the Florida Democratic Party filed suit to push back the state’s October 11 voter registration deadline.

Overall, between January 1 and August 31, 2016, some 650.9k Floridians have registered to vote.

For those of you who missed my HuffPost piece that ran on Friday due to Hurricane Matthew, it’s available here.