Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Looks Like Heavy Turnout to Me ...


I went out this morning to put Richardson/Argenziano signs up at the 21st of 21 polling places I was able to get to in Alachua County, Florida, and hung out for a couple of hours waving one of the signs at traffic. More on (another candidate's) signs at the end of this post.

I'd classify this polling place as "suburban" -- maybe two miles outside the Gainesville city limits and pretty much surrounded by middling to upscale housing developments.

Alachua County has about 180,000 registered voters divided into 63 precincts, so about 2,850 voters per precinct.

In 2016, 44% of Alachua County's registered voters voted early rather than on election day. I suspect that percentage is higher this year, but let's go with it. For this precinct, that would amount to 1,254 voters who have already voted, leaving a maximum possible number of 1,596 voters who could potentially cast ballots.

The polls are open for 12 hours, from 7am to 7pm. So in order to hit 100% voter turnout (excluding the early vote), we'd be talking about an average of 133 voters per hour per precinct.

I didn't try to count traffic during the morning rush hour leading up to 9am.  Traffic in general was heavy because it always is (the polling place is on a main road leading into Gainesville. Lots of work traffic, and lots of school buses slowing that work traffic down), but I didn't pay attention to how many vehicles were turning in to the polling place.

Between 9:20am and 9:30am, I did two separate "minute counts." Each of them had four cars per minute coming in to the polling place.  That's 240 cars per hour, which would result in maximum turnout in less than seven hours.

No, I'm not expecting 100% turnout. There will presumably be slower stretches through the day.

But I will not be surprised if there's higher turnout this year than in 2016. Early voting locations looked very busy last week as well.

About those signs:

There are three county commission candidates: Democrat Marihelen Wheeler, independent Scott Costello, and Libertarian Greg Caudill.

I saw lots of sign-waving for Costello at early voting locations, but as far as stationary signage at polling places goes, Caudill seemed to be beating both of his opponents as of last night and this morning. I saw a Caudill van out hitting polling places at the same time I was last night. This morning at the polling place I went two, there were two Caudill signs, one Wheeler sign, and no Costello signs.

BUT: One of the Caudill signs had been bend down flat to the ground by its frame, and the other one had been torn off its frame entirely and left lying on the ground. I unbent the one, and lent one of my own frames to the other. Shame on whoever pulled that shit.

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