In true Florida fashion, nothing stopped voters from casting ballots in the Democratic primary on Tuesday — not even the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to the Florida Division of Elections, there were over 5 million registered Democrats in the Sunshine State as of Jan. 31, 2020. Did they show up this election despite pandemic fears? Yes, but in a different way than you might think.
Although some might consider a 34.5% turnout low, the number of ballots surpassed the 2016 total by over 27,000 votes. There was a 19% increase in early voting in 2020. Vote-by-mail increased almost 25%.
Former Vice President Joe Biden won every county in the state, most by a large margin. In Miami-Dade, about 61% of voters chose Biden. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders came second in the county with an estimated 22.5% of votes.
A similar distribution of votes occurred in Florida as a whole.
Biden received even more support in Broward County with 67% of the votes. The results were extremely clear: Floridians chose Biden.
Tuesday came as a blow for Sanders’ campaign, as Biden was able to strengthen his lead in the number of delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination. According to AP, 151 pledged delegates from Florida went to Biden, compared to the 52 that went to Sanders.
As parks, beaches, restaurants, bars and all other nonessential retail establishments close due to the threat of coronavirus, Florida Democrats still found a way to make their voices heard. That bodes well for the November elections, which are the ones that really count.