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Democrats Requesting More Mail-In-Ballots than Republicans

October 3rd, 2018 by Jake Stofan
For the first time since Florida became a two party state, more Democrats than Republicans are asking to cast their ballot through the postal service.
The general election is officially underway, with 2.5 million mail-in-ballots shipping out to voters through the state.
“It’s a very long ballot. We don’t want to see lines like have been seen in the past,” said Leon County Elections Supervisor Mark Earley. “So that’s why we’re encouraging people to vote ahead of time.”
Historically, Republicans have requested more mail in ballots than Democrats, outnumbering them by 128,000 in 2014 and 60,000 in 2016, but this year there’s been a shift.
“My party has done a pretty good job of telling folks it’s safe to vote. People have gotten comfortable with the idea,” said Democratic strategist, Steve Schale.
24,000 more Democrats have asked for a vote by mail ballot than Republicans.
“It’s great to see my party with a lead in the absentee requests, but it doesn’t really mean much unless people return their ballots,” said Schale.
The increase could be an indication of a high Democratic voter turnout in November, but Republicans say it may just be a voter shift.
“It’s an exchange of when they vote. They’re voting early and when you talk about vote by mail requests, you’re not also talking about turnout either,” said Evan Power, Assistant Treasurer for the Republican Party of Florida.
While Democrats may have requested more ballots, Republicans are traditionally  better at casting and returning them.
“So in 2014 and in 2016, Democrats left 70,000 more ballots on their kitchen table than Republicans,” said Schale. “That in a race like this could be the margin of winning or losing.”
Republicans say their vote-by-Mail numbers haven’t been growing as much as Democrat’s in recent years, simply because many of their voters prefer to show up at polls on Election Day.
Military and overseas ballots went out ten days ago.
As of 10 Am Wednesday morning, the Secretary of State reported 2,030 ballots had been cast by Republicans and only 1,324 for Democrats.

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