Pinellas County voters blow past 2016 turnout; appear to choose Biden by narrow margin

There was massive voter turnout in Pinellas County. As expected, the margin of votes between President Donald Trump and his Democratic opponent Joe Biden is razor-thin.

As of midnight Wednesday, Pinellas County election officials said Biden had a narrow lead of just more than 1,200 votes in the county.

President Trump won the county in 2016 by 5,500 votes.

Pinellas is known as an election bellwether. Over the last 40 years, Pinellas County voters here have accurately picked who goes on to win the White House in nine of those 10 elections.

MORE: President Trump wins Florida with wider margin than 2016

More than 79% of Pinellas County voters cast ballots this election, blowing past the total voter turnout in 2016.

“Voters are super engaged, very enthusiastic, we have great voter turnout, I am just so excited to be a part of history,” said Pinellas supervisor of elections Julie Marcus.

Officials had 22 days to tabulate the mail-in and early voting results and they were needed. More than 348,000 people voted by mail this year, many utilizing the 25 ballot drop-off locations across the County.

All of the action happens at the Election Service Center. The envelopes are opened, the two ballot cards are separated, and then each sheet goes through high-speed scanners to be counted.

“We basically are prepping for potential post-election activities, because you would want, if you had to recount something, you wouldn’t want to go through every single ballot,” Marcus said.

The first set of unofficial results including provisional ballots is due to the state by noon on Saturday.