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2020

Florida Democrats grow mail ballot enrollment edge to more than 700,000

That’s a gap 80 times greater than the party enjoyed in 2016.

More than 700,000 Democrats in Florida requested mail ballots than Republicans ahead of the presidential election.

The Florida Democratic Party announced Friday that more than 2.22 million Democrats registered to vote by mail. That expands their enrollment advantage to 717,000 over Republicans.

“Our volunteers, partner organizations and the coordinated campaign team have worked tirelessly to educate Democrats about vote-by-mail, and with 43 days until the vote-by-mail enrollment deadline we are excited to see this margin continue to grow,” said Terrie Rizzo, Florida Democratic Party chair.

The gap between Democrat and Republican requests grew substantially in August. The state party announced at the end of July it enjoyed an edge of half a million voter enrollments. The gap over Republicans has grown roughly 40% in the intervening weeks.

Of course, requesting ballots isn’t the same as voting. In 2016, more Democrats asked for ballots than GOP voters and Republican Donald Trump won Florida over Democrat Hillary Clinton by almost 113,000 votes.

That enrollment lead, though, was far more modest, with only around 8,800 more Democrats requesting ballots than Republicans. Florida Democrats enjoyed a greater advantage in 2018, with around 50,000 more enrollments, but still narrowly lost statewide races for Senate and Governor.

Democrats see the exponentially higher number of mail enrollments as a solid sign in the battle to win Florida’s 29 electoral votes for Democrat Joe Biden in November.

“Democrats saw significant increases in vote by mail turnout in the August primary and we are ready to keep our foot on the gas going into November,” Rizzo said. “Democrats are committed to getting out the vote and electing Joe Biden and Democrats all across Florida this election.”

The significant difference in mail ballot requests less than 60 days from the election comes as Trump has repeatedly criticized vote-by-mail as a method fraught with fraud, though he has specifically said Florida’s system is fine.

Polls show, however, that Trump’s criticisms may have contributed to a much greater reluctance in Republican voters to utilize mail voting. That also appeared to be reflected in the August primary, with far more Republican voters turning out on the day of the election while Democrats outperformed at the mailbox.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. DisplacedCTYankee

    September 11, 2020 at 8:34 am

    One of this country’s problems is that people have to “be educated” about how to vote by mail.

  2. Andy madtes

    September 12, 2020 at 8:26 am

    The dems should not be basking in the sun on this yet. Had people returned their ballots at a much higher rate over the past several election cycles the out come of high level races could have been different.
    Receiving it is one thing sending it back is another.

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