More than half of Florida's active registered voters have already cast ballots ahead of Election Day. The others are now casting ballots, including voters in the western Panhandle.
Escambia County Supervisor of Elections David Stafford says as of midday, turnout was “brisk,” with about 33,000 votes cast since the polls opened at 7:00 a.m.
At Precinct 63 – Wedgewood Community Center – voters and poll workers went old school for about a half-hour after an electrical transformer blew around 11:20. Poll workers at the predominantly African-American precinct had to sign in voters and collect the finished ballots by hand.
“The Supervisor of Elections has already made contact with Gulf Power, and the manager here has already contacted the county to send out some maintenance people to try to see what the problem is,” said precinct clerk Annie Moultrie.
A generator was brought in and normal operations resumed. One of those voting in the dark was Mary Collins – who minced no words when asked who got her vote for the White House.
“I voted for Hillary [Clinton]; I don’t mind saying that,” said Collins. “But one thing I wish, is that they both had talked more about what they were going to do for our country, rather than bashing each other.”
At Precinct 103, Holy Cross Episcopal Church on North 9th Avenue, Barbara Fitzpatrick cast her ballot for Donald Trump.
“Mostly for the [U.S.] Supreme Court,” said Fitzpatrick. “I’m hoping [Trump] does well for the country.”
In Gulf Breeze, poll worker Bruce Rova is at Precinct 22, a-k-a Gulf Breeze Community Center.
“We had a line down to the sidewalk; down the sidewalk, down towards the back ballfield,” said Rova. “We had we had 255 people in the first hour, about 4-5 people per minute.”
Early voting wrapped up last Saturday, but election supervisors can continue to accept mailed in ballots until the polls close tonight at seven o’clock.
Election return coverage from WUWF and NPR kicks off at seven this evening.