Archives for category: Florida

Early voting is underway in the runoff election for Mayor of the City of Jacksonville.  According to a report by the Florida Times Union, only 4,275 ballots were cast on Monday (yesterday), the first day of early voting, in the 18 early voting sites located across Duval County.

In the 2011 mayoral runoff election, strong turnout by African Americans during the two weeks of early voting helped to tip the scales for Alvin Brown who won his first term as Jacksonville’s mayor.

African Americans in Duval County — even more so than the rest of Florida — have become habituated to vote early. Facing an array of obstacles limiting their ability to cast a vote on a Tuesday—the traditional election day even in municipal elections—or remaining dubious about having their absentee ballots count, thousands of African Americans in Jacksonville have taken advantage of the convenience of voting early, which was enacted by a Republican legislature and signed into law in 2004 by Governor Jeb Bush. In the 2011 Jacksonville municipal election, black voters in Duval County were especially likely to vote on the final Sunday before Election Day, taking their Souls to the Polls.

In 2011, African Americans made up roughly 28% of the registered voters in Duval County (about the same today), with white registered voters comprising about 62% of the county’s voter rolls (today, whites make up about 60% of the county’s electorate).  Jacksonville African Americans, however, were disproportionately more likely to go early to the polls to vote in the 2011 municipal election when compared to other racial or ethnic groups.

Figure 1, below, plots the daily composition (that is, the fraction of early voters on each day that is of a particular race/ethnicity) of the early voting electorate in the 2011 Jacksonville mayoral contest.  It reveals that African Americans relied much more heavily on early voting, Of the approximately 38,000 registered voters in Duval County who voted early over the two-week early voting period prior to Election Day (May 17, 2011), African Americans cast roughly 34% of the early votes, even though they comprised just 28% of the electorate.

Figure 1: Racial and Ethnic Composition (Percentage) of Early Voters in Duval County, May 2011 Mayoral Runoff Election


What is most notable from Figure 1 is the huge spike in early votes by African Americans on the final day of early voting, Sunday, May 15, 2011. In fact, on that final Sunday of early voting, even though they comprised less than a third of registered voters, more African Americans came to the polls to vote in the Jacksonville runoff election than did whites.

Early voting has just started; it runs through May 17.  I suspect we’ll see a surge of early voters — especially African Americans — in the days to come, especially the final Sunday of early voting, Sunday May 17, 2015.

Details about where and when early voting is available can be found on the Duval County Supervisor of Elections website.

Just finished cranking out some crosstabs for my coauthor Seth McKee at Texas Tech, and thought I’d share the actual age breakdown of the 2014 Florida electorate. Let’s just say Florida’s voters were A LOT older than the official exit poll suggests.  Here’s CNN’s exit poll estimates for voters, by age, in the 2014 General Election:


The exit poll is WAY off with regard to the estimate of younger voters turning out in 2014. According the Florida voter file, of the 6 million or so who turned out to vote, just over 8% were between the ages of 18 and 29 years old, a far cry from the 14% estimate of the exit poll.  Roughly 16% of actual voters who turned out were 30-44 years old, again, considerably less than the exit poll estimate of 19%.

So, does the exit poll over-estimate the turnout of 45-64 year olds? Actually, no.  According to the official voter file, less than 40% of the actual Florida electorate was in that age bracket, less than the exit poll estimate of 42%.

How is this possible?

The exit poll severely under-estimated the percentage of the electorate that was 65 and over. According to the exit poll, one quarter of the electorate in 2014 was 65 years old or older, when in fact the statewide voter file indicates that nearly 36% of the electorate was 65 or older.

The  generation gap is alive and well in Florida, especially with regard to turnout in midterm elections, a fact missed by the 2014 General Election exit poll.

Teaming up with my colleague, Michael McDonald <@ElectProject>, and my great team of @UF undergrad and graduate students for this Knight Foundation News Challenge!
More here:

Not sure why the fascination about Jeb not voting in the 2008 presidential election ( via @NYTPolitics). Here’s the voting record of John Ellis Bush according the the Florida voter file, 1996-2012.

“PRI” “A” 3/12/1996
“PRI” “Y” 9/3/1996
“PRI” “Y” 10/1/1996
“GEN” “Y” 11/5/1996
“PRI” “Y” 9/1/1998
“GEN” “Y” 11/3/1998
“OTH” “Y” 7/29/1999
“PRI” “A” 3/14/2000
“PRI” “A” 9/5/2000
“PRI” “A” 10/3/2000
“GEN” “A” 11/7/2000
“OTH” “A” 4/10/2001
“OTH” “A” 6/12/2001
“PRI” “A” 9/10/2002
“GEN” “Y” 11/5/2002
“PRI” “A” 3/9/2004
“PRI” “A” 8/31/2004
“GEN” “A” 11/2/2004
“OTH” “A” 3/8/2005
“OTH” “A” 4/12/2005
“PRI” “A” 9/5/2006
“GEN” “A” 11/7/2006
“PPP” “Y” 1/29/2008
“PRI” “E” 8/26/2008
“PRI” “E” 8/24/2010
“GEN” “A” 11/2/2010
“OTH” “Y” 3/15/2011
“PRI” “A” 5/24/2011
“GEN” “A” 6/28/2011
“PPP” “A” 1/31/2012
“PRI” “A” 8/14/2012
“GEN” “A” 11/6/2012

Because, as Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley correctly noted on Monday to Steve Bousquet, “The data provided to us by the Florida Department of State lacked complete, credible and accurate data.”

Yup. Couldn’t agree more.

Here’s my Expert Report in the case, Arcia v. Detzner.

Read it here

Here are some preliminary turnout numbers from the 2014 Florida statewide election gleaned from the Dec. 31, 2014 Florida voter file. (Standard caveats for discrepancies between the Florida Department of State’s “Official Results” and votes cast in the Division of Elections statewide voter file, as well as any rounding errors apply.)

Of those who cast ballots in the 2014 General Election, more than 42% were Republicans, 38% were Democrats, less than 17% were NPAs, with the balance comprised of those registered with third parties.

In terms of the race and ethnicity of the 2014 General Election electorate, more than 73% of those who turned out were white, slightly more than 12% were black, 10% were Hispanic.

So much for exit poll estimates, which overestimated black (14%) and Hispanic (13%) turnout, and underestimated the composition of the electorate that was white (69%).

Less than 44% of registered (active and inactive) Democrats, 31% of NPAs, and 55% of Republicans turned out to vote.  (Only 45% of the state’s registered Libertarians turned out to vote; so much for Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie or the chance to legalize Medical Marijuana smoking them out of their bunkers.)

Close to 50% of registered whites turned out to vote, but only 40% of registered blacks cast ballots. Even worse, only 30% of registered Hispanics and roughly 26% of registered multiracial and those of unknown race/ethnicity bothered to turn out to vote in the November 4, 2014 General Election.

More to come…





Marc Caputo reports that John Morgan’s Medical Marijuana initiative is sporting a new look as he tries to qualify it for the 2016 ballot.

Will tweaking the wording make a difference?  Perhaps.

But contrary to Morgan’s claim that “turnout wasn’t what it could have been” and that “old people, 65 and older really did us in,” what really hurt Amendment 2 was not the wording of the constitutional amendment or poor turnout, but rather down-ballot roll-off.

As this Figure reveals, support for Amendment (Yellow line) was fairly strong across the state of Florida (it only dipped below 50% in 15 mostly rural counties). The big problem for Morgan and his campaign consultants was ballot roll-off, that is, voters who cast ballots in the gubernatorial race for Democrat Charile Crist (Blue line), but who didn’t vote for legalizing medical marijuana.  Support for Crist in Broward county, for example, topped 70%, and support for Amendment 2 was nearly as high.  The down-ballot roll-off on Amendment 2, however, was 5.3%. Crist tallied 17,000 more votes than Morgan’s Amendment 2 in Broward.  In Miami-Dade county, Crist out-polled Amendment 2 by more than 28,000 votes, as roll-off was 6.7% in the populous South Florida county.  Amendment 2 failed to achieve 60% in Miami-Dade not because of poor turnout, but because of the high roll-off among Crist supporters.  Across the state, roll-off on Amendment 2 was by far the greatest in Broward and Miami-Dade, strongholds for Democrats and support for the legalization of medical marijuana.

Looking forward to 2016, the electoral demographics for Morgan’s retooled medical marijuana ballot measure should be in place in a high turnout presidential election. But limiting ballot roll-off among Democrats–especially peripheral voters who come out every four years–will again be key for the deep-pocketed Orlando trial lawyer.

Here’s Judge Terry P. Lewis’ (Second Judicial Circuit Court of Florida) decision finding that the Florida Legislature’s congressional map violated the state constitution.

Romo.Final Judgment.July 10, 2014

One-third of Florida Legislature faces no opposition at polls

Michael Van Sickler reports.

TALLAHASSEE — Millions of voters in Florida will get no vote in choosing who represents them in the Florida House and Senate next year. That’s because the deadline for candidates expired at noon Friday with no challengers qualifying to run against a third of the state Legislature.

The lack of opposition means candidates for eight state Senate seats — all incumbent Republicans — and 38 House seats, all but one an incumbent, automatically won their seats despite no ballots being cast in those districts. That will make 2014 even less competitive than 2012, when 24 percent of lawmakers ran unopposed.

More here.


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