Vote-by-mail: How many November election ballots have already been returned in Tampa Bay?

Election 2020

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Election Day is still weeks away, but more than 2 million people in Florida have already cast their ballots via mail.

According to the Florida Department of State’s Division of Elections, a total of 2,283,028 voters had already voted by mail as of Friday morning. To put that in perspective, a total of 2,732,075 people living in Florida voted by mail overall in the 2016 presidential election.

A significant portion of the ballots returned so far this year – 1,128,181, to be specific – are from Democrats. The state reports 684,186 Republicans have returned mail ballots. In addition, 444,256 voters with no party affiliation and 26,405 voters listed as “other” have sent back their mail ballots.

So what has voter turnout been so far in the Tampa Bay area counties? Here’s a breakdown based on the latest unofficial data made available Friday afternoon:

Citrus County

Citrus County Supervisor of Elections Susan Gill keeps a constantly-updated tracker on the county website showing voter turnout.

According to the elections website, Citrus County was already reporting a 20.63% voter turnout by 4 p.m. Friday.

The tracker shows of the 117,094 active eligible voters in the county, 24,154 have cast their ballots so far. All of those ballots have been cast by mail because early voting has not yet started.

Here’s a breakdown of the votes received so far by party:

  • Democrat: 9,294
  • Republican: 10,227
  • No Party Affiliation: 4,307
  • Other: 326

Citrus County is the only county in the Tampa Bay area where more Republicans have voted by mail so far than Democrats.

Hardee County

While Hardee County does not have a voter turnout tracker on its website that’s updated throughout the day, they do provide a daily report to the Department of State to report vote-by-mail and early voting activity.

According to the Department of State, Hardee County reported Friday morning that it had received 774 ballots so far for the November election. The county has a total of 13,102 active eligible voters, which puts them at an estimated 5.91% voter turnout so far.

Here’s a breakdown of the votes received so far by party:

  • Democrat: 377
  • Republican: 307
  • No Party Affiliation: 85
  • Other: 5

Hernando County

Hernando County also tracks voter turnout on the supervisor of elections website.

At 4 p.m. Friday, Hernando County reported a 17.92% voter turnout so far. The county has 146,890 active eligible voters and has received 26,317 ballots so far.

Here’s a breakdown of the votes received so far by party:

  • Democrat: 11,625
  • Republican: 9,914
  • No Party Affiliation: 4,448
  • Other: 330

Highlands County

Highlands County Supervisor of Elections Penny Ogg reported a 19.16% voter turnout so far in the general election on Friday.

According to the county’s website, 12,706 ballots have been cast so far. There are 66,317 active eligible voters in the county.

Here’s a breakdown of the votes received so far by party:

  • Democrat: 5,404
  • Republican: 5,037
  • No Party Affiliation: 2,146
  • Other: 119

Hillsborough County

According to the Hillsborough County election supervisor website, 171,709 voters cast their ballots for the general election already by Friday.

The county has 920,860 eligible voters, so they are reporting a 18.65% voter turnout so far.

Here’s a breakdown of the votes received so far by party:

  • Democrat: 86,622
  • Republican: 46,983
  • Other: 38,104

Manatee County

According to Friday’s vote-by-mail report from the Department of State, 49,793 voters have already returned their mail-in ballots in Manatee County.

Manatee County has a total of 273,971 active registered voters, which puts them at an estimated 18.17% voter turnout so far.

Here’s a breakdown of the votes received so far by party:

  • Democrat: 22,102
  • Republican: 17,984
  • No Party Affiliation: 9,171
  • Other: 536

Pasco County

By Friday afternoon, Pasco County reported an 18.82% voter turnout so far for the general election.

According to the supervisor of elections website, there are 393,422 active eligible voters in the county and 74,041 ballots have already been cast.

Here’s a breakdown of the votes received so far by party:

  • Democrat: 33,126
  • Republican: 24,055
  • No Party Affiliation: 15,864
  • Other: 996

Pinellas County

Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Julie Marcus is reporting a 20.65% voter turnout as of Friday afternoon.

According to the county’s election website, 146,890 ballots have already been cast. The county has 711,170 active eligible voters, second just behind Hillsborough County.

Here’s a breakdown of the votes received so far by party:

  • Democrat: 69,817
  • Republican: 45,809
  • No Party Affiliation: 29,624
  • Other: 1,640

Polk County

By late morning on Friday, Polk County reported to the Department of State it had already received 65,102 mail ballots.

The county has a total of 472,166 active voters, which means they’re reporting an estimated 13.79% voter turnout so far.

Here’s a breakdown of the votes received so far by party:

  • Democrat: 31,011
  • Republican: 21,224
  • No Party Affiliation: 12,181
  • Other: 686

Sarasota County

The Department of State’s daily report shows Sarasota County has received 75,674 mail ballots so far.

There are 340,303 active voters in the county, which puts them at an estimated 22.24% voter turnout so far.

Here’s a breakdown of the votes received so far by party:

  • Democrat: 38,171
  • Republican: 23,551
  • No Party Affiliation: 13,248
  • Other: 704

Early voting is scheduled to begin in most Tampa Bay area counties on Monday.

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