Early voters already hitting the polls in Southwest Florida

Posted at 2:51 PM, Oct 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-27 09:26:18-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - The excitement is revving up as the countdown continues for election day. While any people may not agree on who should be taking the oval office, they can agree they're ready for this election to be over.

"Oh my god, if it could be over today, I would love it," Suzi Hosfeld said.

"It's been such a grueling primary," Joseph Mangin said. "I think people want to get it over with so voting early kind of gets it over with."

Thousands of people across Southwest Florida are voting earlier in record numbers.

"Neither one is the best candidate," Hosfeld said. "I'm a little disappointed in that but we're down to two [candidates] and that's what we have to do."

Statistics show more voters are casting their ballots earlier but which party has the biggest turnout?

Numbers released Thursday by the state Division of Elections show more than 585,000 voters have gone to early voting sites that opened in 50 counties. Another 1.54 million voters sent in their ballots by mail.

Florida is a battleground state and the start of early voting prompted Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton to sweep through the state this past week. There are nearly 13 million registered voters.

As of Wednesday morning, Republicans are racking up a win for the highest number of early voters in Charlotte, Collier, and Lee County.

But while Republicans are dominating with turnout, it doesn't necessarily mean everyone is voting for Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump.  "I'm actually registered Republican but I just couldn't do it," Hosfeld said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, here's the breakdown of early voters by SWFL county:

Charlotte County Early Vote

REP - 3,861 (51.1%)
DEM - 2,312 (30.6%)
OTHER - 1,381 (18.2%)
TOTAL - 7,554

Collier County Early Vote

REP - 8,996 (54.7%)
DEM - 4,464 (26.9%)
OTHER - 3,114 (18.7%)
TOTAL - 16,574

Lee County Early Vote

REP - 9,890 (48.7%)
DEM - 6,488 (31.9%)
OTHER - 3,920 (19.3%)
TOTAL - 20,298

Election statistics are updated every 15-20 minutes. For the most up to date information, please visit your local Supervisor of Elections website.