TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Early voting in Florida is over, and there’s just one day until the November 2022 midterms are fully underway. The races at stake for the state of Florida include the governor, the attorney general, chief financial officer, a U.S. Senate seat, and multiple seats in U.S. Congress.
Due to Hurricane Ian, voters in Lee, Charlotte, and Sarasota counties may have additional time for early voting and vote-by-mail options due to the damage to those locations, according to DOS.
As of 8:15 a.m. on Election Eve, nearly 2.3 million Floridians have voted in early polling locations, and more than 2.5 million have already voted by mail, the Florida Division of Elections reported. An additional 1.8 million vote-by-mail ballots have reported been requested and sent out, but not yet returned.
The vote-by-mail ballot must be dropped off by 7 p.m. on Election Night. The Florida Department of State said that regardless of when the ballot is postmarked, if it isn’t received by 7 p.m. on Election Night, it won’t be counted.
For Tampa Bay counties, here’s the breakdown of early voting and vote-by-mail so far.
|Location||Vote By Mail Received||Early Voting|
Similar to midterms of the past, early voter turnout is a lower level than the general election in 2020. As previously reported, the preliminary numbers reported by the Florida Dept. of State, which tracks and supervises elections, shows the state voter participation so far for early voting is nearly 40% lower than in 2020.
The lower number of voters coming out in person or voting by mail is also lower following the pandemic, where the number of absentee ballots in Florida used was much higher than in the 2018 midterm election. Tuesday’s vote comes with the potential to change the balance of power in Washington, in addition to Florida’s own state government.