The unpredictability of the 2020 presidential election prompted students from Jones High School to march from campus to early vote at the Amway Center.
Tanika Cooper who serves as Director Community Partnerships led a group of about 30 students.
“We know the importance of voting and that our young people will be able to determine the trajectory of what the future of this country looks like,” Cooper said.
Some of the students who participated are among the young voters putting this year’s election on pace for a historic rate of participation like Jones' senior Travis Hanks.
“It’s not just you yourself, but it’s others around you that benefit,” Hanks said.
As the race enters its final week, the profiles of voters who have cast ballots early indicate the electorate could look very different according to Data Director with the Florida Chamber of Commerce Alex Coelho.
“Not just who has voted, but their demographics, age, race, district, or counties let you know where those votes are coming from,” Coelho said.
The data of early voters statewide provided by the Florida Chamber of Commerce makes it easy to see why Florida is in play this election, as more than 6 million have already voted.
“We’ll probably have by Election Day more votes or about as many votes cast prior to Election Day to what we had in the entire 2016 election,” Coelho said.
As of Oct. 27, early votes cast by women has reached 54% with votes cast by men trailing behind at 44%. The racial breakdown or early voters shows 15% of Hispanic voters barely outpacing black voters at 12% in the sunshine state. While votes cast by people 60+ make up 51% despite reports of record turnout among young voters in Florida.
“The one thing about voting-by-mail and voting early is once you do it once you tend to do it again, you tend to become a permanent early voter,” Coelho said.
Florida is one of the swing states in the presidential election.
“In a state like Florida there are almost 4 million people who aren’t registered with either party and we have no idea of who those voters actually are,” Coelho said.
Political experts have said a mix of factors could play a decisive role in the swing state this election cycle and Coelho agreed.
“We can’t really talk about Election Day anymore it’s now an election month,” Coelho said.
The data will continue to shift among unaffiliated voters. Coelho said the last time Florida has seen voter turnout come close to this magnitude was during the 1992 presidential election with Bill Clinton and George H .W Bush.