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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – More than three million Floridians have already voted in the midterm elections.
While the majority used vote-by-mail ballots, more than a million took part in in-person early voting.
From Hollywood to Coral Gables, South Florida voters are on a roll, waiting in long lines, and smashing early voting records for a midterm election.
“I think the current state of our country is driving the vote out,” said city worker Daniel Mell as he left a central Hollywood early voting location on Tuesday morning.
In Coral Gables early voter Aundrea Curtis said, “Every vote counts when you are trying to make a change”
The proof is in the numbers.
Over a half million people have cast ballots in south Florida already.
For Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties over 280,000 have voted in person.
Vote by mail has topped 288,000 for the three counties.
Broward elections supervisor Dr. Brenda Snipes calls it a sign of the times.
“I think people are paying attention to social media. People want to have a say in what government looks like,” she says.
Hollywood Candidate volunteer Shelly DeMarco says voters are well informed going to the polls.
“Things have gotten so bad folks have moved into action,” she explained.
And South Florida appears to be on the ‘early voting’ bandwagon with the rest of the state.
Statewide over 3 million have cast ballots with 1.8 million voters mailing them in and 1.2 million voting in person.
Realtor Floyd Cerf, who voted early, explained the surge in voting this way.
“I think it’s the division in our country that’s creating the need to vote,” he says.
One group helping to get people to the polls is “Spread The Vote”.
It’s a non-partisan group helping first-time voters, especially minorities, get United States or Florida issued identification cards or documents.
The group does this in states where there are voter ID laws.
“We’ve seen a ton of people just really excited to have their voice heard. This is going to be a tough election,” Director Gina Miles said
Wadi Gaitan with the Libre Initiative says Hispanic voters could decide some key races in Florida, especially with the governor and senate races that are neck and neck.
“Economics is the number one issue among Hispanics. They want more jobs. They want more economic opportunity and growth,” Gaitan said.
He went on to state healthcare and immigration are two other key issues among Hispanics in South Florida.
CBS News battleground tracker shows healthcare and the economy are two most important topics that are of interest among likely voters in Florida.
“I’m excited because I think, in a long time, we have not seen the turnout we are seeing now,” Candidate Volunteer Adelaida Rosario said.
Since 2002, exit polls have shown for majority of voters said whoever is in the White House has impacted their vote in midterm elections.
As for one voter in Doral, she expects that trend to continue.
“I think it’s going to impact it a lot,” Arianne Alfonso said.
In Broward, nearly 250,539 people have either voted in person or by mail. In Miami-Dade, another 304,000 people have already cast their ballots.
Nearly 1.29 million GOP voters have cast ballots, compared to nearly 1.23 million Democrats. Nearly 526,000 voters with no party affiliation have also cast ballots.
If you’re planning to vote by mail, time is running out to request a ballot. The deadline is Wednesday, October 31st, at 5 p.m.
Vote-by-mail ballots must be received by the Supervisor of Election’s office no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day. A voted ballot cannot be accepted at a polling place. If you requested a vote-by-mail ballot and later decide to vote at the polls, take the vote-by-mail ballot with you so it can be canceled at your polling place.
If you plan to vote early in person, there are 28 early voting locations in Miami-Dade, 22 in Broward, and 5 in Monroe.
It doesn’t matter which location you go to as long as it’s in your county.
- Early voting locations in Miami-Dade
- Early voting locations in Broward County
- Early voting locations in Monroe County
Election officials say if you’re planning to vote in person, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the ballot because it is several pages long.
- CLICK HERE to see a SAMPLE BALLOT in Miami-Dade
- CLICK HERE to see a SAMPLE BALLOT in Broward
- CLICK HERE to see a SAMPLE BALLOT in Monroe
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)