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GOP leading Democrats in votes-by-mail

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Republicans are leading Democrats in the number of votes-by-mail already turned in for the 2016 primary election by more than 14,000 ballots.

The latest figures were on the state’s Division of Elections website Friday morning.

Registered Republicans submitted 98,311 ballots to their county supervisors of elections, with registered Democrats turning in 83,805.

Historically, Florida Republicans have had an advantage with vote-by-mail ballots, while the Democrats were stronger with early voting.

No-party-affiliated voters tally 24,837, and “other” is at 5,399, according to the website, for an overall total of 212,352.

Elections supervisors started mailing ballots on July 26. Lawmakers recently changed the name of such ballots to “vote-by-mail” ballots from the traditional “absentee” ballots.

The Tampa Bay area dominates the numbers. Pinellas County voters come in first with 26,603 having voted by mail, and Hillsborough County voters are second with 23,326.

Broward County is a distant third with 16,560 votes-by-mail.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at

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