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Flagler’s Early Voting Only Slightly Ahead of 2008 Pace; Republicans Winning Turnout Race

| October 31, 2016

Early voting in Flagler, as at the public library location above, has been brisk through seven days, but if it will break records, it will not shatter them: the pace is only slightly ahead of that of 2008. (© FlaglerLive)

Early voting in Flagler, as at the public library location above, has been brisk through seven days, but if it will break records, it will not shatter them: the pace is only slightly ahead of that of 2008. (© FlaglerLive)

Early voting in Flagler County is considerably ahead of 2012 numbers, when early voting sites were scaled back to just two and early voting days scaled back to eight. But this election’s pace is running just ahead of 2008 numbers–and may yet fall short if Election Day turnout does not at least match the 29 to 31 percent turnout of the last two presidential elections.

And a closer look at the numbers paints a bleak picture for Flagler County Democrats, who are barely overperforming their registration rolls, and severely under-performing compared with Republicans’ enthusiasm locally.

After seven days of early voting, 16,423 ballots have been cast at three early voting sites in Flagler County, with six days of early voting to go. That compares with a total of 19,905 ballots cast in the 2012 election, and 22,454 ballots cast in the 2008 election, making this year’s numbers look hefty.

But they look heftier than they actually are. When adjusted for registration increases, which have been brisk over the past eight years, the numbers look healthy but more modest. Voter registration rolls have grown by nearly 20,000 since 2008, to just over 79,000 this fall, compared with 60,000 just ahead of the Obama-McCain election. That’s a 32 percent increase.

When early voting numbers are accordingly adjusted to reflect a constant number, this year’s early voting turnout is on pace to hit 30,500, assuming the first seven days’ average daily turnout holds for the next six days. That number will beat the 2012 adjusted figure, which would have been 22,736 had the voter rolls been equal. But it will barely go past the 2008 total, which would have been 29,693 (the actual number of people who cast a ballot in 2008 was 22,454).

What is on pace to push the early voting total past 2008 is the combined totals between early voting and voting by mail. So far, 10,265 ballots have been cast by mail, which compares to an adjusted total of 10,800 in 2008 and 12,157 in 2012. With nine days left for voters to turn in mailed ballots, it’s very likely that the final tally will be closer to 12,200, pushing the combined total for early and mail voting to 42,200. That’s an early-voting turnout of 53.1 percent, compared to 51 percent in 2008 and 43.9 percent in 2012.

If anyone was expecting a slackening in early voting in this second week, the numbers by 1 p.m. did not show it: 1,145 people had voted. The slackening took place over the weekend, suggesting that whatever souls-to-the-polls drive may have been planned, it did not have much of an effect locally. Both Saturday and Sunday combined for a lesser total than any of the weekdays’ turnout.

In the race for voter enthusiasm, Republicans are clearly ahead in Flagler.

Overall, Republicans are maintaining a strong advantage in early ballots, both by mail and in person. Combined, Republicans have cast 46.9 percent of the ballots, Democrats have cast 33.8 percent, and Independents or small-party registrants have cast 19.4 percent. Those numbers should worry Democrats–not just because Republicans are running ahead.

That was expected, given their nearly eight-point advantage in registrations. What should worry Democrats is by how far Republicans are running ahead: Their 46.9 percent proportion of ballots is not only 13 points ahead of the Democrats’ pace. It is seven points ahead of the Republicans’ own overall registration share, which says one clear thing: Republicans in Flagler County are a lot more enthused about voting than Democrats are, and whatever ground game Democrats are relying on to make a difference in the election, it’s not making much of a dent: If 33.8 percent of ballots have been Democratic, that’s just two points ahead of Democrats’ overall registration ratio. Republicans, in other words, are easily winning the turnout race in Flagler County.

Nationally, Hillary Clinton has reportedly established a slim lead, ahead of Donald Trump, in early voting, with 21 million votes cast, giving her a presumed advantage in Florida, Colorado and Nevada, where about a quarter of the electorate has voted so far. But that’s assuming that Democrats are voting for her almost exclusively–an assumption rather than a fact. Still, the perceived advantage has solidified despite the late revelations by the FBI that it is examining yet more Clinton emails. With eight days to go in an election studded with plot twists, there’s yet time for more unexpected turns.

The chart below outlines the numbers so far (through Sunday evening tallies), with projected estimates for early voting totals.

Flagler County's Early Voting and Vote By Mail, 2008-2016

Registered Voters
Actual Early Votes (Turnout %)
Adjusted Early Votes(*)
Actual Mail-In Votes (Turnout %)
Adjusted Mail-In Votes(*)
Combined Early Voting
Adjusted Combined Early Voting
22,454 (37.3%)
8,166 (13.6%)
30,620 (51%)
19,918 (28.6%)
10,650 (15.3%)
30,568 (43.9%)
16,423 (20.7%)
2016 Projected (**)
30,500 (38.4%)
42,200 (53.2%)
Note: The numbers are current through Oct. 30 tallies. They will be updated daily.
(*) The adjusted tallies reflect what the vote would have been had the number of registered voters been constant, adjusted for 2016. Registrations have increase 14.15 percent over 2012, and 32.24 percent over 2008.
(**) The projection is based on the totals for the first seven days of early voting averaged over seven days, with that average multiplied by six remaining days of early voting, and that total added to the actual total of the first seven days.
Sources: Flagler County Supervisor of Elections, Florida Division of Elections, and FlaglerLive.

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11 Responses for “Flagler’s Early Voting Only Slightly Ahead of 2008 Pace; Republicans Winning Turnout Race”

  1. Early Voter says:

    GO TRUMP!!!

  2. Obama 2016 says:

    Enthusiasm only has one vote per person. Bernie Sanders found that out.

  3. Diva 1985 says:

    You assume that Republicans are voting Republican (as noted about Democrats. Also, as an Independent, I voted a Democrat slate because that’s what was more closely aligned to my views. There’s a VERY good chance many others do the same. So don’t assume.

  4. Tampa Native says:

    Diva 1985 you are correct. My parents who are lifelong Republicans did not vote for Trump. Just because you are a Republican does not mean you vote for that candidate. People need to educate themselves about all the candidates especially the lawmakers. The President cannot do much without the consent of Congress.

  5. YankeeExPat says:

    Trump Supporters, by in large are also Putin Supporters ………………” sumasshedshiye amerikantsov! “

  6. Defenderofthesecond says:

    I challenge you to find a Republican who would vote for Hillary.

  7. Layla says:

    Don’t assume that Democrats are supporting CLINTON, either. Trump sign requests from Dems are high. We may be looking at a large crossover vote.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hilary –

    Knock knock….

    Hilary : who is it?

    Door: the FBI!!!

  9. Fraudisreal says:

    I love the guy who voted all dem, you know Bush supports hilary as well as most upper level republicans, both parties are a scam they don’t even like about that anymore. I wonder why that is. Actually I don’t you can vote establishment or anti establishment here if you ruin your chance at freedom so be it.

  10. Red White and Blue says:

    The Republican Party is so blind here in Flagler and getting worse. All a candidate has to do is join Republican Party and spend money and everyone is wow’d because they are a republican. Example? Rick Staly. Was a democrat switched parties to say he is a republican. Hired by democrat Manfre. Staly spent over $165,000.00 in a race to gain power and yet Staly has more baggage that the titanic. And all the local republican candidates endorsed him. Staly spent large sums in advertising with local news outlets to get their support. All that is fine except he is a dirty politician. All Staly’s previous bosses not only dislike him but read this from Facebook

    1. Flagler County Sheriff (8 yrs) Jim Manfre stated the following about Rick Staly, ” And for all his supporters out there, smell the roses with this guy. I was also bamboozled by his personality. He went after sheriff [Dennis] Barry when he was the Orange County undersheriff, for ethics charge. He was the one who approved Don Fleming’s membership at the Club at Hammock Beach. Staly demeans employees, he intimidates them, he also undermines people that he has worked for.” Manfre continued: “Rick used my friendship with him to garner a position in this agency and then spent two years undermining me to further his ambitions of running for sheriff. So his credibility is pretty low. I do not have any financial difficulties at this time and he should be ashamed of himself. He really should.” Manfre stated that Staly was the biggest mistake he made as Sheriff. Source

    2. Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary was Sheriff 1993-2009. He was Rick Staly’s boss from 1993 through 2001. Let’s see what he said about Rick Staly in the past and in the present. Previously Sheriff Beary stated in an interview that he had to demote Rick Staly because Staly was, “heavy handed and not liked by his men”. Rick Staly then threatened to sue his former boss and he then forced Sheriff Beary into signing an agreement that stipulated that they could not talk bad about each other. Why would Staly do that?? And yet in a Flaglerlive interview Staly presented a letter signed by Sheriff Beary that is supposed to be a recommendation by Beary for Staly. BUT here is what Beary had to say on September 23, 2016 when asked if he had written a letter of recommendation for STALY, “I have nothing good to say about Rick Staly. The only letter he has is a settlement letter from me and my attorneys that was agreed on.
    Thanks, KB.”

    3. Sheriff Walt Gallagher was the Sheriff of Orange County from 1989 through 1993 and Staly’s boss. The Orlando weekly described best how Staly treated his boss Sheriff Gallagher, “Staly – then a watch commander – served as a mole for the Beary campaign, feeding Beary’s campaign an analysis of the department’s weaknesses and reporting on Gallagher’s attack strategies.” Rick Staly “mole”. Sheriff Gallagher went on to characterize Rick Staly as “unprofessional”. Source Orlando Sentinal 6/21/93

    Orange County Undersheriff Malone Stewart has referred to Rick Staly as “Judas Iscariots.” Source Orlando Sentinal

    I think that about completes the review of how Rick Staly’s last 3 bosses feel about him. It looks like Staly has this one thing down pat….He undermined Sheriff Gallagher so that Sheriff Beary could be elected and for that Staly went from Lieutenant directly to undersheriff…wow (1993). Then he undermined Sheriff Beary so that he could run for Sheriff of Orange County but he lost that round (2004). He undermined Sheriff Fleming so that Manfre could win and Staly could once AGAIN be undersheriff(2012). Then he undermined Sheriff Manfre and here we are(2016). It would appear that the cycle continues and there is one consistent factor.

    Without exception the last three Sheriff’s that Rick Staly worked for….REAL SHERIFFS WHO KNOW STALY AND HAVE SUPERVISED HIM…in their own words describe Rick Staly using these words: demeans, intimidates, undermines, low credibility, heavy handed, not liked, and a mole who is unprofessional. Judas.

    This is the Republican Party?

  11. Sheila Skipp Zinkerman says:

    If the Flagler County Democratic opposition voter turnout is motivated by “enthusiasm,” then the Flagler County Democratic voter turnout should be motivated by outrage.

    Why? Several Democratic “ground game” volunteers have met some of the opposition. Some opposing voter’s “enthusiasm” is mutually inclusive with voter turnout and their vulgar behavior during this election. For example, our volunteers have endured vein pulsating name-calling such as “baby killer,” “murderer,” and “traitor.” We have been spat at (by a woman,) it is believed that a tire was intentionally punctured by 4 set nails, and cars with Democratic bumper stickers have been keyed. We have been harassed as we canvassed in neighborhoods, and our Democratic political signs have been either stolen or vandalized. Some, but not all of these incidents, have been reported to the Sheriff’s Department.

    For these reasons, and because it is our civic duty, outraged and other Flagler County “ground game” Democratic volunteers have voted. If you have not voted – please vote. Make our dreadful ground game volunteer experience in this election worthwhile. Stand behind our volunteers, our Democratic down ticket candidates, and VOTE!

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