JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Sarah Horne, 24, not only voted early but took two of her friends with her.
“I’m hoping a lot of people will turn out, because it's kind of important,” said Horne.
The importance of this year’s election is not lost on many Floridians who have already taken advantage of early voting.
University of North Florida associate professor of political science Michael Binder said this election is shaping up to have one of the largest turnouts ever, and Florida leads the way.
“Six point four million votes have been cast in Florida. Literally half of the registered electorate in Florida has already cast a ballot,” said Binder.
Nearly 299,730 voters already cast their ballot in Duval County. In St. Johns, nearly 98,000 have voted, and in Clay County more than 74,000 ballots have been cast so far.
The Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office is already predicting more than 81 percent turnout for this election, just a few percentage points under the record of 84 percent set in 1952.
Binder said the Latino vote will also prove to be a critical voting bloc.
“It's vital. It's 15.1 percent of early turnout. Right now, they're 16 percent of the registered electorate,” said Binder.
And the Latino population is only growing.
Horne said sitting this one out was not an option for her.
“I would like to make sure that my voice is heard on it,” said Horne.
With two polarizing figures at the top of the ballot, Binder said there’s a reason for the large turnout.
“I don't know if there's ever been an election on record where almost more people are voting against somebody than for somebody,” said Binder.
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