Where Things Stand in Florida as Early Voting Begins

Saturday evening bring this update on early voting in Florida today, from Alex Leary in the Tampa Bay Times

“The Obama campaign seems quite happy after record turnouts were reported in counties across Florida today, the first day of early voting.
The Times‘ Adam Smith reported on Twitter, ‘More than 20k pple voted eary today so far in Hillsborough Co…In 08 biggest single day (11/1/08) was 18,736.’ The Miami Herald‘s Marc Caputo tweeted, ‘Miami-Dade early voting so heavy that by 3 pm 14,745 people voted — more than ENTIRE first day of 08 EV (12,000). 12-hour total: 22,625.’ Gary Fineout of the AP, ‘Leon County – a Democratic stronghold in Fla – had a record turnout for early voting with 5447 votes cast on day 1.’ Democrats typically have an advantage with early voting, but Republicans have been putting a higher emphasis on its turnout effort this time.”
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Today is the first day for early voting in Florida. Here is a rundown from OBAMA campaign field director Jeremy Bird on where registration and get-out-the-vote efforts are in the state. Key takeaways from Mr. Bird:

“The Florida electorate—just like the rest of the nation’s—has grown much more diverse since 2008:
• Of the over 300,000 Hispanics who have registered to vote since President Obama was elected four years ago, nine out of ten signed up as Democrats or Independents, and only 10 percent registered as Republicans.
• More than 100,000 African-American and Caribbean-American voters registered since November 2008.
• Among those who have cast mail ballots already, 14 percent are African-American, Latino Democrats, or Latino Independents—up from 12 percent at this point in 2008. Latino Republicans have fallen from 7 percent of mail voters at this point in 2008 to just 5 percent today.
• We estimate minority voters will make up more than 30 percent of the vote in Florida this year, up from 28 percent in 2008.”

Here also are some great photos from around the state taken as polling places opened this morning:

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