An ElectionSmith Exclusive: Nearly 200k Floridians have already cast ballots in Florida’s Presidential Preference Primary. Twice as many votes cast by

Republicans than by Democrats.

As of Valentine’s Day, 66k Democrats and 122k Republicans had mailed in their Vote-by-Mail ballots ahead of Florida’s March 17th presidential preference primary.

Stay tuned for more updates…

Mobilizing the Youth Vote? Early Voting on College Campuses in Florida

Enrijeta Shino and Daniel A. Smith, University of Florida

Abstract

Might having additional opportunities to cast a ballot increase the probability that an
individual turns out to vote? Scholars disagree over whether or not added electoral convenience bolsters voter turnout. Examining the effects of early in-person voting on public colleges and university campuses in Florida, we argue that turnout should increase when institutional barriers are lowered, as individuals, especially those who are young, have greater options to mobilize themselves, or be mobilized by others, to vote. Using individual-level election administration data and offering a series of models (differences-in-differences (DD), differences-in-differences-in-differences (DDD), and multivariate matching combined with differences-in-differences, we estimate the causal effects of the expansion of early in-person voting on eight college campuses on voter turnout. We find strong evidence that on-campus early voting increases turnout, especially among young voters.

Most recent draft available here

Which Florida County, according to the Mueller Report, was compromised by Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election?

According to the Mueller Report, Russian operatives were able to “gain access to the network of at least one Florida county government.”

Which one? And was it even a county Supervisor of Elections office?

According to Sun Sentinel, SOEs in Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade all claim they weren’t hacked. Paul Lux, SOE of Okaloosa County and head of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections, says he had “not heard from any county in Florida” that an elections office was compromised.

So, that only leaves 63 more SOEs to come clean….

Some keen observers have noted that in August during the 2018 campaign, Senator Bill Nelson visited with Taylor County SOE Dana Southerland, raising speculation that the small north Florida county may have been the one that may have been hacked in 2016.  But Nelson’s visit could have just as easily been tied his effort to make sure the $19.2 million in federal dollars to help counties defend against cyberattacks in the 2018 election was being allocated. Indeed, according to news reports, Nelson had “met privately Wednesday with about a dozen elections officials from Florida’s smallest counties, where the need for more money is greatest.”

Certainly, there is no indication that voters in Taylor County had problems voting or having their votes count, according to its Conduct of Election report filed after the election.  And my analysis of the vote histories in the 2016 election suggest no anomolous patters, either.  Of the nearly 13k registered voters, over 73% turned out, with Republicans turning out at a higher rate than Democrats, and a majority of NPAs staying home.  There were only 10 provisional ballots rejected (out of more than 7k cast early in-person and on Election Day), and only 16 VBM ballots rejected (out of roughly 2.5k cast). Again, nothing to raise major concerns.

So, it seems like the easiest way to get to the bottom of this mystery is to have reporters to continue to ask the other 63 SOEs if their systems were breached.