The Gillum effect? In Florida’s largest black-majority city, a surge of early voters


November 1, 2018 

Anita Coolie, 46, cast her vote Wednesday in Miami Gardens for the Florida governor’s race, but her mind was on ballots of elections past.

“It reminds you of history, like when we had the first African-American president,” the city custodian said after voting for Andrew Gillum, the first black candidate from a major party to run for governor in Florida. “People like to get that sense of history.”

Coolie’s election-season visit to the North Dade library in Miami Gardens may extend a notable streak for the only early-voting site in Florida’s largest black-majority city. Since the weekend began, the library is the only one out of the county’s 28 early-voting sites to actually see more voters than it did during the same four-day stretch during the 2016 presidential election.

For all the talk of blue waves, President Donald Trump’s energized Republican base helping GOP nominee Ron DeSantis, and record turnout for a governor’s race, the 2018 mid-term election isn’t coming close to the pace voters set in 2016. 

That’s typical for “off-year” elections, the term for the national elections that fall in the middle of a presidential term. While turnout topped 70 percent in Miami-Dade when Trump faced Hillary Clinton in 2016, it simmered around 40 percent when Gov. Rick Scott ran against former governor Charlie Crist in 2014. Source

Category: Government & Elected Officials

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