Primary votes-by-mail pass half-million mark

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The number of Floridians voting by mail for this year’s primary election has exceeded a half-million.

As of Friday, the state’s Division of Elections website showed 535,663 ballots had been returned to county supervisors of elections.

Republicans still are leading Democrats, 257,163 to 205,384.

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

Third-party and no-party registered voters came in with a combined 73,116 ballots.

Elections supervisors started mailing ballots on July 26. The primary election is Aug. 30.

Lawmakers recently changed the name of such ballots to “vote-by-mail” ballots from the traditional “absentee” ballots.

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 jim@floridapolitics.com.