TAMPA, Fla. — There is less than one week left until Election Day, and the major presidential candidates are planning more stops in Florida, while voters head to the polls.
“It’s a very important election so had to get out here and do my part,” said Will Grodman after voting in downtown Tampa.
Voters moved through the process at Amalie Arena quickly Tuesday.
“There are a lot of important topics, a lot of really heavy things going on in the country and I feel like this is really our best opportunity to actually make a difference,” said voter Sam Patryn. “We can talk about it on social media and all that all we want but that’s not really going to get the job done. So this is what we need to do.”
The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, Craig Latimer, said so far things are going well.
“Let me tell you we’ve got a bunch of enthusiastic voters out here. We’re seeing some tremendous turnout with both early vote and of course vote by mail we’re having some great returns. they’re seeing tremendous turnout with both early voting and vote by mail,” he said.
The latest data from the Florida Department of State shows at least 2.3 million Republicans, at least 2.6 million Democrats and more than 1.2 million with no party affiliation have voted early or by mail so far. The numbers may not tell the whole picture though.
“26 percent of our voters are registered as no party affiliation and you don’t know how they’re going to vote but you know that vote could really be the tipping point if it goes all in one direction or not,” said ABC Action News political analyst Susan MacManus.
Florida is key. MacManus said attention is being paid to independent voters, Latino voters, young voters, who she says have gained a large share of total registrants, women, who she says are paying attention to schooling and the economy, and new registrants.
She said voters are starting to make choices, including around COVID-19 and the economy.
“The shut down versus jobs choice is what I think is left in the minds of a lot of Floridians who have yet to vote,” said MacManus.
In the last week, she said to expect non stop campaigning to get out the votes of those who have yet to cast a ballot.
Early voting goes through Nov. 1st in Hillsborough County. The supervisor of elections urged those with mail-in ballots to return them. They must be received by 7 p.m. Election Day. They can be dropped off, via drive through or walk up, at boxes at early voting locations. After the end of early voting, they must be returned to the supervisor of elections offices.
You can find information on other counties here.