Here’s another way in which the 2016 election is historic: Miami-Dade and Broward counties set new records Tuesday for ballots cast in an election.
Thanks primarily to a huge surge in absentee and early voting, more than 1 million voters are projected to participate in Tuesday’s election in Miami-Dade County, with early returns showing a 72 percent turnout. Currently, an estimated 991,000 voters cast ballots in the county, according to the Miami-Dade Elections Department, but that number is expected to climb throughout the evening.
In 2012, Miami-Dade reported 888,033 votes cast in the presidential election, or a 67.5 percent turnout. In the 2008 presidential election, 872,260 voted, or a 70 percent turnout rate.
In Broward, 842,088 voters cast ballots for a 71 percent turnout rate for the 2016 election, compared with 762,345 or 67 percent turnout in 2012, and 739,861 or 73 percent turnout in 2008 general elections.
“We’ve never had these numbers before,” said Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes at the elections office in Lauderhill Tuesday night.
The high numbers are likely a positive sign for Hillary Clinton, given that both counties are expected to favor the Democratic nominee. Broward has more registered Democratic voters than any other county in the state. Republicans have aimed to keep Clinton’s advantage in South Florida minimal while capitalizing on Republican strongholds in Southwest Florida and the Panhandle.
Miami Herald staff writers Daniel Chang, Joey Flechas and Amy Sherman contributed to this report.