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Florida primaries saw nearly 3.6 million people cast ballots

Posted at 2:09 PM, Aug 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-30 14:09:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (The News Service of Florida)Nearly 3.6 million Floridians cast ballots during this week's primary election.  

Four years ago, turnout was just over two million. 

Overall, 27 percent of eligible voters went to polls. While that number may seem low, turnout was less than 18 percent during the 2014 primary.  

Republicans and Democrats alike say voter interest was extremely high for the 2018 midterm election, with spikes in participation happening in heavily Democratic counties like Broward and Palm Beach as well as GOP strongholds like Collier and Sarasota counties. 

Florida State University Political Science Professor Carol Weissert says voters on both sides feel there are issues that directly affect them. 

“More is always good in the voting world. Goodness knows that there are lots of issues in Florida right now, with environmental issues, education issues, and gun issues," said Weissert. "So, on the issues side, you would think people would get out and vote.” 

Among Democrats, voter turnout for the primary reached its highest rate in 40 years.

Former Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant hopes the enthusiasm continues through the November general election. 

“It’s too important in Florida. We can’t let, what many of us consider, the deterioration of our state to continue," said Tant. "We are going to step up and step forward in unprecedented ways.” 

The highest voter turnout during this week’s election was in small Franklin County in the Florida Panhandle, where 56 percent of citizens voted.

On the other end, less than 21 percent of eligible voters went to the polls in Osceola County in suburban Orlando.