Hillsborough County sees uptick in turnout, mail, early voting

Election workers in Hillsborough County said Election Day went by smoothly, with a record voter turnout on Tuesday.

The supervisor of elections, Craig Latimer said his staff spent the last 22 days processing mail-in and early voting ballots and then spent the hours of election night waiting for the precincts to report results and counting 5,000 mail-in ballots received on Tuesday.

According to unofficial results posted on the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections website, 272,501 early voting ballots and 335,778 mail-in ballots made up roughly 85% of the total 714,286 votes this year, elections officials said.

The remaining 15% of votes came from 106,007 ballots cast on Election Day. During the day, Latimer said it went pretty well, with no major issues and very few lines.

“We had one polling site where we replaced the tabulator. Voting didn’t stop. It didn’t affect anything or interfere with anything, and that’s the only equipment issue we’ve had that I’m aware of,” said Latimer.

Hillsborough County had about 76% voter turnout for Election Day -- more than what they saw in 2016.

“I think what we’re seeing is a little shift in the method of voting as opposed to just blowing numbers out everywhere. Take for example that our early vote, we had a good early vote, but it wasn’t that far ahead of 2016,” said Latimer of the high early voter turnout.

The county added about 85,000 new voters this year, and Latimer said those numbers came into play in the final tallies.