Nov. 8 General Election turnout lower than participation in 2018 but higher than in 2014 and 2010

Almost three-and-a-half times more Republicans than Democrats vote in person

Voter turnout for the Nov. 8 General Election was lower than the figure for the 2018 General Election, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner and his staff have reported.

Last week, 62.05% of the 353,493 citizens eligible to participate in the election cast ballots, the Supervisor of Elections Office data show. In 2018, 66.97% of the 318,384 registered voters cast ballots by mail or voted in person, data note.

However, in 2014, when the number of registered voters was 277,321, turnout was 58.93%, as shown in records on the Supervisor of Elections Office website. In 2010, turnout was even lower — 56.1% of the 264,382 registered voters at that time, the data show.

Among other details about the Nov. 8 General Election, Turner and his staff reported that 94,890 ballots were cast by mail, while 69,275 citizens went to the polls on Election Day, and 55,167 took advantage of early voting.

Further, data show that 108,022 Republicans participated in the Nov. 8 General Election, compared to 64,709 registered Democrats and 46,601 individuals who were members of other parties or who had listed no party affiliation.

In a more detailed breakdown, the Supervisor of Elections Office reported that 33,982 Republicans voted by mail, while 41,465 voted on Election Day and 32,575 cast ballots during the early voting period.

Far more Democrats voted by mail — 41,994. Only 11,899 registered Democrats went to the polls on Nov. 8, while 10,816 participated in early voting. Thus, close to three-and-a-half times more Republicans than Democrats voted in person this year, the data show.

Among those individuals registered with other parties or with no party affiliation, the data note that 18,914 voted by mail, 11,776 participated in the early voting period, and 15,911 cast ballots on Election Day.

The peak voting time on Election Day was between 7 and 8 a.m., a graph shows. The second highest turnout came between 10 and 11 a.m., while the third largest number of people went to the polls between 5 and 6 p.m.

The precinct with the highest turnout, based on a Sarasota News Leader review of the Supervisor of Elections Office data for Nov. 8, was 525, which saw 81.4% of its 2,816 voters cast ballots.

That precinct was at the Lift Church in Venice, which stands at 695 Center Road.

In second place was Precinct 321, located at the New Life Church in Venice, with 79% of its 4,928 voters participating in the election.

Both Precincts 301 and 541 had turnout of 78.9%.

Precinct 301, which is located at the Waterford Sports Club in Venice — at 1460 Gleneagles Drive — had 2,083 voters registered for the election, while 541 had 7,654, the Supervisor of Elections Office data show.

Precinct 541 also was at the New Life Church in Venice, which stands at 5800 Tamiami Trail S.

Following them, Precinct 213, located at St. Armands Key Lutheran Church, saw 77.6% of its 1,157 voters participate.

Next was Precinct 201 — the Town Hall of Longboat Key — with turnout of 76.2% of its 4,706 voters.

The precinct with the lowest turnout — 115 — recorded ballots cast by 33% of its 6,341 registered voters. It is located at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, located at 1845 34th St. in Sarasota.

The second-lowest turnout — 38.4% of 3,180 voters — was 103. That precinct is at the Betty J. Johnson North Sarasota Public Library, which stands at 2801 Newtown Blvd. in north Sarasota.

When the News Leader asked whether any problems occurred on Election Day, Paul Donnelly, director of communications and voter outreach for the Supervisor of Elections Office, wrote in an email, “Election Day was busy across the board. At 62%, turnout was not historical but very strong. The long ballot and increase in registered voters did contribute to lines at some polling locations. There were some lines at our North Port office since we were forced to relocate three polling locations there following Hurricane Ian. Other than the usual hiccups, Election Day was fairly typical.”

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