By Ted Scouten

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A sign of the times as people line up to drop off their mail-in ballots at the Miami-Dade Elections Department.

“We want to make sure we drop it off here to make sure everything is good and avoid the issues with the post office,” said voter Ethan Tamayo.

“It’s more comfortable, more acknowledgeable, safer to come here, drop it off. It’s the more responsible thing to do,” said voter Dialma Medina.

Officials were expecting to see record turn out for this primary election — up to 30 percent of registered voters casting ballots, many by mail.

“We mailed over 460,000 ballots to our voters, and about 260,000 have already come in. Those are record numbers for a primary. In terms of early voting, it was between 20-25 percent higher than in 2016 or 18,” said Christina White, Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections.

Driving the high turn out — the high profile Miami-Dade Mayor’s race. County Commissioner Daniella Levin Cava is running. She voted this morning.

“On this historic day, marking a 100 years of women’s right to vote. It is the day I will become the first woman mayor of Miami-Dade County,” said Levin Cava.

A total of 7 people are running. To win outright, they must get more than 50 percent of the vote or face a runoff.

Commissioner Esteban Bovo voted this morning too. He’s also running for mayor. He’s impressed by the high interest.

“Traditionally our primary races are decided with 20, 21 percent if we get higher than that, look, I’m okay with that. I accept whatever decision the voters make today,” said Bovo.

Former 2 time Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas got in some last minuting campaigning too. He’s hoping for another shot as mayor. He’s banking on experience making a difference.

“I feel confident that ill be moving on to a second round, a runoff. We’ll see with who.” said Penelas.

Ted Scouten

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