(File photo)

About 14% of the county's registered voters have already cast their ballots

Early voting continues until 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, at three locations.
By: 
Aug. 24, 2018

With the final weekend before Election Day approaching, almost 12,000 Flagler County voters have already cast their ballots.

As of the afternoon of Friday, Aug. 24, 11,772 residents have already voted early or by mail —14.43% of the county's total of 81,561registered voters.

Of those, slightly over half (6,070, or 51.56%) had voted by mail, while 48.44% (5,705) had voted early.

Flagler County Supervisor of Elections Kaiti Lenhart said on Flagler Broadcasting's Free For All Friday program the morning of Aug. 24 that she would like to see a total turnout of 25% of the county's  81,824 registered voters for this election. 

"I know that's not sounding like a whole lot, but the last gubernatorial primary, we only had 19% turnout," she said on the program. "And we're really trending to hit that 25%, so as long as we can get everybody out on Election Day to vote and those vote by mail ballots returned to us, we're going to be on track to do that."

Trends have been changing over recent election cycles, she added. 

"Especially in 2016, we saw a lot of people liked the convenience voting, either by-mail or early voting, so that trend could follow for a primary," she said. "But right now, I'm seeing the numbers looking like early voting's just catching up with the mail turnout, the returned ballots by mail, so we'll probably trend like we have every election for a primary, and that will be probably a ... turnout split into thirds for vote by mail, early voting and then Election Day turnout."

Voters can vote early today, Aug. 24, or tomorrow, Aug. 25, she said.

Early voting hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at three locations: The Flagler County Supervisor of Elections Office at 1769 E. Moody Blvd., Building 2, in Bunnell; the Flagler County Public Library at 2500 Palm Coast Parkway NW, in Palm Coast; and the Palm Coast Community Center at 305 Palm Coast Parkway NE.

"And if you're holding on to your mail ballot, get that in the mail if you can, and if you're able to it's even better to bring it into the office, because first-class mail delivery times for U.S. Postal Service is anywhere from three to five days, and we have to have that return mail ballot on Election Day by 7 p.m.," Lenhart said.

So far, Republican ballots cast have significantly outnumbered Democratic ones: 6,388 Republicans have already voted (19.10% of the total number of registered Republicans in the county), while 4,358 Democrats have (17.18% of the total number of registered Democrats). Only 1,030 of the county's 22,525 NPA voters had voted early or by mail. 

Some nonpartisan races could be decided in the primary (if, as in the case of the District 4 School Board race, there are only two candidates running; or if one candidate in races with more than two candidates receives 50%-plus-one of the vote). View a sample ballot here: https://www.flaglerelections.com/Portals/Flagler/pdfs/2018_Sample_Ballot-Web.pdf.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Aug. 28. Find Election Day and precinct information here: https://www.flaglerelections.com/Election-Day-Voting

Addressing concerns about election security, Lenhart said her office has "just received confirmation from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI that the recent claim of Russians infiltrating Florida's security or infiltrating, going past the security and being in the records is a false claim. We don't have any kind of evidence to support that at this time."