Florida 2020 presidential election: Why Pinellas County voters are so important

Pinellas County

LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) – Voters in Pinellas County rushed to the polls Tuesday morning to cast their votes in the 2020 election.

Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Julie Marcus tweeted that 7,100 voters case their ballots the first 30 minutes polls were open. Election officials estimate more than 300 voters dropped off mail-in ballots between 7 and 9 a.m.

“Right after the 2018 general election started we began working on our plans for this election. The same thing will happen with 2022, [on Wednesday] we will begin working on the next election. Elections are a big undertaking,” said Deputy Supervisor of Elections for Pinellas County, Dustin Chase. “It takes our whole team a lot of time to put together this big very exciting day where we hope more than 700,000 people will be participating.”

As of Tuesday morning, Chase said 338,000 mail-in ballots had already been tabulated.

Although many of the mail-in ballots have already been counted, the canvassing board will reconvene at 10 a.m., and again at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to continue processing ballots.

In the “swing state” of Florida, Pinellas County is a “swing county,” about as purple as it gets. In a county of nearly a million people, there’s a slim difference of only about 4,000 people between registered Democrats and Republicans.

Pinellas County voters have an uncanny way of picking who ultimately wins the White House.

President Trump won Pinellas in 2016, but this year, Democrats have a slight advantage in voter registration.

Ultimately, pollsters said it will come down to the county’s independent voters who, right now, appear to favor the former Vice President Biden. But as we learned in 2016, the polls don’t always get it right.

Chase said they’re hoping for 80% of registered voters in Pinellas County to turn out for this election.

If you still have a mail-in ballot you have to drop off you can do that at one of the three offices for the Supervisors of Elections in Pinellas County by 7 p.m.:

  • Pinellas County Courthouse, 315 Court Street, Room 117 in Clearwater
  • County Building, 501 First Avenue North in St. Petersburg
  • Starkey Lakes Corporate Center, 13001 Starkey Road in Largo

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