TAMPA BAY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – We brought you a voter reaction here in Tampa Bay on election night. Now that those ballots are in, we’re breaking down which counties lien blue and which went red for the presidential race and seem to be pretty close. CW44’s Andrea Alvarez tracks the data and speaks with election leaders.
“We ended up Election Day with I think 107,000 or 106,000 voters. So, you know, we saw some definite trends that occurred there.” Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, Craig Latimer has overseen the election process in his county as it’s become one of the few counties in Florida and one of only two across Tampa Bay to currently have more Democratic votes for president than Republican votes during the 2020 election.READ MORE: Wife Of Fallen Deputy Magli: "I’m Not Ready. Eleven Years Was Not Long Enough."
“It’s kind of interesting, Presidential elections always generate a lot more enthusiasm. And we get some people that vote every four years to come and vote for president and go home. They don’t vote for anybody else,” said Latimer. But it’s not the first time in Hillsborough County’s history. “In 2016, Democratic [presidential] candidate Hillary Clinton also won the popular vote there.”
When asked of any notable increases of voter turnout in specific areas across Hillsborough County, Latimer responded, “You know, I haven’t looked into specific areas yet. But you know, we certainly did have more increase. We went to a 76% turnout. Previously, in the last presidential election, we were 71.5%. We added 85,000 new voters.”
But other counties in the Bay Area, like neighboring Pasco county aren’t showing as close of a race right now. “It was absolutely fascinating from a data standpoint, because those results last night was literally a mirror of 2016,” said Brian Corely, the Supervisor of Elections in Pasco County. Officials attribute this to President Donald Trump, but it wasn’t always that way. Corely continued, “Pasco County, historically, going back many years ago had been primarily a blue county over the last probably five years or so. The registration is indicated it’s gone, it’s gone more red.”
Much like Hillsborough County and most places across the country, Pasco County also had a sizable increase in voter turnout this year. Corely shared his surprise in the increase, “I think back to a few months ago, wondering what it was going to look like for the general election not knowing if we’re going to have polling places, poll workers. And you know, here we are reflecting how it was one for the ages. It was so smooth and voters were so patient with us.”READ MORE: Third Stimulus Check: When Could You Get Another Economic Relief Payment?
In Hillsborough County, Latimer echoed the sentiments from Corely about voting operations in this pandemic. He tells CW44 that his team received some of the most help from the business community and Hillsborough County after employees were given civic leave to work pull sides on election day. “And what happened was, we ended up with an overabundance of poll workers. But the special part of that was we reduced the median age for poll workers from 66 to 53. They told me personally they wanted to do it because they wanted our community to be successful with the election. And I think that we were.”
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