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Voter turnout for the midterm elections in Leon County

Posted at 6:53 PM, Nov 09, 2022

Voters in Leon County decided on a number of races for this year's midterm elections.

Incumbent John Dailey has been reelected as Tallahassee's Mayor. Christian Caban and David O'Keef have been elected to fill two County Commission seats. Darryl Jones and Laurie Lawson Cox have been elected onto the School Board.

Despite the efforts of some local organizations to get the vote out, voter turnout in Leon County was still lower than expected.

Bob Rackleff and the Big Bend Voting Rights Project has spent the last two years working to get more people in Leon County registered to vote.

Rackleff mailed out post cards, worked to get the vote out and most importantly went door to door in neighborhoods ahead of Tuesday's midterm election.

"You have to go out and meet people face to face to get registered, to get them out to vote, to get them to vote for candidates you want them to vote for if that's the case," said Rackleff. "There's no substitute for that."

Out of the more than 204,000 eligible voters in Leon County, Rackleff was able to register 1,081 of them. However, only 57.8% of voters showed up to the polls for the midterm election.

Even though it's lower than the 2018 election cycle, Supervisor of Elections Mark Earley is happy with that number this year. "This is very much what we were expecting," said Earley. "We were hoping for around 60% but we knew that you know the 2018 high mark of 66% was I think that was a local driven interest in the governor's race."

President of the League of Women Voters in Tallahassee Trish Neely said they've also been neighborhood canvassing and passing out voter information ahead of election day.

She said they focused on precinct 1313, college students and women aged 18-34. "We're really urging that group. If they don't come out and vote, what they do is give up their ability to control a lot of different things," said Neely.

However, Earley said the student population had one of the lowest voter turnouts. He said despite their efforts, turnout was in the 20 percentiles. "We had early voting going for two weeks at FSU and FAMU and the numbers there were very disappointing," said Earley.

Another group that didn't have a high turnout was minority voters. "Some of the minority precincts were in the 30%'s too so we need to remind people if they want to make a difference, they have to get out and vote," said Earley.

Although it isn't quite what Neely was hoping for, she said they'll use this information to strategize their next steps.

"That's really going to be what we use as part of our game plan going forward, but you know getting out the vote, that's always going to be our number one priority," said Neely.

Rackleff said their next step will be to send volunteers to southwest Georgia to help get the vote out for the senate run off race.