Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Voting-by-mail becoming the clear choice of Pinellas voters in municipal elections

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark is right. Opponents of early voting, such as the St. Petersburg Times, are wrong. When it comes to voting-by-mail, the issue is as simple as that.

Two years worth of elections clearly show that voters prefer early voting and voting-by-mail, at least as voter turnout is concerned.

I’ve taken a look at the 2009 and 2010 municipal elections and the data clearly indicates that Pinellas voters have not only accepted the concept of voting-by-mail, but appear to prefer voting-by-mail.

Here is the turnout information with the St. Pete Beach mail ballot election separated from the elections with polling places.

In 2009, in the one city that conducted an all vote-by-mail election, turnout was three times higher than turnout throughout the rest of the county. In 2010, turnout in St. Pete Beach’s municipal election, which was conducted by mail, was double what turnout was throughout the rest of county.

And what about turnout in the rest of the cities? In 2009 and 2010, more than 66% of the few voters who did cast a ballot did so by mail.

Here is the turnout information with the St. Pete Beach all-mail election separated from the elections with polling places:

St. Pete Beach (all mail ballot election)
Turnout: 34.45%
100% voted by mail

12 municipalities with polling places:
Turnout: 17.88%
66.7% voted by mail

For the March 10, 2009 Municipal Elections:

Oldsmar annexation (all-mail ballot election)
Turnout: 66%
100% voted by mail

10 municipalities with polling places:
Turnout: 22%
66% voted by mail

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

Latest from The Bay and the 'Burg

Go to Top