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…

Quick Post-Mortem on Absentee Mail Ballots cast in Florida

As of this morning, some 1.269m absentee ballots have been counted in the Florida election. The number will continue to trickle up in the coming days as county canvassing boards examine the overseas mail ballots coming in over the next week.

Republicans cast 719.1k absentee ballots. Thus far, .56% of them were rejected by canvassing boards due to voter error (likely a mismatched or invalid signature); another .27% were rejected because they lacked an accompanying signature on the return envelope.  So, nearly 99.2% of GOP absentee ballots were valid.

On the Democratic side, nearly 524.8k were received by county SOEs. Slightly less than 99% were processed as valid (98.97%, to be exact). Of the rejected Democratic mail ballots, .61% had a voter error and .42% lacked a signature on the envelope.

Only 21.7k NPAs cast ballots, and roughly 10k more by 3rd party registrants.

More analysis, as time permits, on the partisan/racial/ethnic/age breakdown of absentee ballots as time permits…

2.09m votes already cast in Florida as polls opened this morning. Party, Race/Ethnicity, Age Breakdowns here:

When precincts opened their doors this morning at 7am, more than 2.09m Floridians had already cast their ballots.

Nearly 1.17m out of the 4.56m active and inactive registered Republicans in the state had cast early in-person or absentee ballots ahead of Election Day, or 25.6% of all registered Republicans.

Nearly 865k out of the 5.04m active and inactive registered Democrats in the state had cast early in-person or absentee ballots ahead of Election Day, or 17.2% of all registered Democrats.

An additional 52.8k NPAs and 3rd party registrants cast ballots (but not for the GOP or Democratic nominees), as did another 3.6k (out of the 28.9k) who registered to vote between February 1 and February 16, the last day to register to vote in the presidential preference primary election.

Older voters in both parties came out in force.  739.3k (63%) of all Republican ballots cast prior to Election Day were cast by voters 60 and older. 514.5k (59%) of all Democratic ballots cast prior to Election Day were cast by voters 60 and older.Only 50.3k Republican and 59.8k Democrats under the age of 30 voted during the early voting period or by absentee ballot.

Sliced differently, only 8.7% of all registered Republicans under 30 and only 7% of all registered Democrats under 30 have voted prior to Election Day, whereas nearly 40% of all registered Republicans over 60 and 29% of all registered Democrats over 60 cast ballots ahead of today, March 15, 2016.

What about the partisan breakdown along racial/ethnic lines?

Slightly more than 1m white Republicans have cast ballots, nearly ten times the 119.5k Hispanic Republicans who voted early in-person and absentee.

Among Democratic early and absentee voters, 547k are white,86.9k are Hispanic, and 191.5k are black.





Last-minute party switchers: Trump-mentum or Feeling the Bern?

As of yesterday, some 248k Republicans in Florida have already cast valid absentee ballots ahead of the March 15 Presidential Preference Primary.  Some of these PPP voters, though, only recently became Republicans.  More than a handful (1,213) of these GOP primary absentee voters (about 1/2 of 1 percent of the total) only registered as Republicans in the last month, between January 31 and February 16 (the last day to register to vote or change party registration). This includes 470 NPAs, 95 Independent Party registrants, 456 Democrats, and 170 new registrants. A sign of Trump-mentum?

We see a similar pattern on the Democratic side. Nearly 217k Democrats have already cast valid absentee ballots for Hillary or Bernie (or erstwhile Martin O) ahead of the March 15 Presidential Preference Primary.  As with Republicans, some of these Democratic PPP voters (672, less than 1/2 of 1 percent), became Democrats between January 31 and February 16.  Only 129 of these 672 were newly registered voters; the rest were previously registered with a different party, including 140 Republicans. Are they feeling the Bern?

Who knows?



433k Absentee Ballots Cast in Florida to Date; Over 4.4k already invalid

As of yesterday, February 24, 2016, more than 433,000 Floridians have cast ballots. As others have undoubtedly reported, Republicans have cast more than 224k absentee ballots, with Democrats casting more than 196,000. Voters registered as NPAs and independents have cast the balance of ballots, but obviously not in either the Republican or Democratic primaries, which are closed only to registered voters.

As a percentage of the electorate, slightly less 5% of registered Republicans and 4% of Democrats in the state have already cast their lot for a presidential nominee.

Among the Republican absentee voters thus far, most ballots have been cast by white voters — nearly 197k of the 22k cast. Hispanic voters who are registered as Republicans have only cast 20.5k absentee ballots, just 9% of the total ballots cast by Republicans.

On the Democratic side, 143.6k of absentee ballots have been cast by white voters (72.9% of the ballots cast thus far); black voters have cast more than 28k absentee ballots (14.4% of the total) in the Democratic primary, and Hispanics just 18k.

It should be noted that not all of the absentee ballots cast to date will count.  Some 4,483 absentee ballots (2,261 cast by Republicans and 1,958 cast by Democrats) have already been flagged by the state’s 67 county Supervisors of Elections as having “voter error.” Many of these will ultimately be “rejected as illegal” by the county’s Canvassing Board.  Still another 2,615 absentee ballots (1,156 cast by Republicans and 1,378 cast by Democrats) are languishing in SOE offices, as their envelopes lack the registered voter’s signature on the envelope.Voters still have some time (by 5 pm on Election Day) to “cure” absentee ballots with no signatures on the envelopes.

Updates to follow….