Less than a month before the election, Florida is already seeing a heavy stream of ballots

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — As of Wednesday, more than 1.9 million mail-in ballots have been returned in the state of Florida, according to the Florida Division of Elections.

In Bay County, 12,108 mail-in votes have been collected from its 124,841 registered voters.

Bay County Supervisor of Elections Mark Andersen said that so far this year has already been a busier than normal election.

“We’ve got over 12,000 [mail-in ballots] that have returned as of today,” Andersen said. “There’s over 32,000 vote-by-mail requests left. At least 10,000 more than prior elections.”

He added that registration is also up.

“We have the highest registration numbers that we’ve ever had in Bay County,” he said. “It’s going to be a busy election.”

Similarly in Walton County, Walton County Supervisor of Elections Bobby Beasley said that they are also expecting a busy election.

“We’re expecting a turnout of around 80%, maybe more,” Beasley said. “A lot of people know about this election, a lot of people are opinionated.”

So far, a total of 4,870 mail-in ballots have been returned out of its 56,186 registered voters, according to the data. There have also been additional 8,252 mail-in ballots that were requested but have not been returned yet.

Beasley said they are expecting to have double the amount of mail-in ballots they did for the 2016 election.

Walton County Republican Party Committeeman Tim Norris said that amidst COVID-19, the party’s main focus would be on the absentee ballots. Statewide, there are more than 3.7 million mail-in ballots that have yet to be returned.

“Make sure we call our absentees and make sure we get them in,” he said. “That’s going to be the big difference, right there.”

Beasley added that Florida is the largest swing state in the union as well as a winner-take-all state, meaning that whichever party wins the majority of the vote wins all the electoral college votes.

“We have nearly 14 million registered voters state-wide that are basically split,” he said. “We have quite a few non-partisan, or no party affiliated voters which aren’t in either party and really they’re the ones that usually swing the vote in the state of Florida, whoever wins those NPA votes.”

In this case, the amount of registered no party affiliated voters in Florida is 26%, according to the state data.

In addition to candidates, there are six amendments on the ballot this year. Three of these amendments could affect voting procedures in Florida, two of them could affect taxes and one of them addresses minimum wage.

Learn more about your county’s voting site by visiting your supervisor of elections’ website.

A full list of votes cast by county can be found here.

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