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Democrats in The Villages queue up in golf carts to drop off their mail-in ballots

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Election Administration Coordinator Melissa Steele-Matovu checks the ballot envelopes for voters outside the Supervisor of Elections Office in Wildwood on Wednesday morning. Photo: Joe Byrnes

Democratic voters in The Villages made a show of strength Wednesday morning, caravanning in golf carts to drop off their mail-in ballots at the Sumter County Supervisor of Elections Office in Wildwood.

Democrats caravanned in golf carts to drop off their mail-in ballots at an elections office in Wildwood. Photo: Joe Byrnes

Festooned with signs and flags, hundreds of golf carts pulled up one by one. Election workers checked for a signature and then slid the ballots in the box.

This went on for about 40 minutes. Horns blared and supporters of former Vice President Joe Biden cheered.

Villages retiree Paula Orlando wore a “Ridin’ with Biden” T-shirt next to her miniature Biden mobile.

“The people in The Villages really want America to know that there are way more Biden supporters here in The Villages than they thought,” she said. “They’re coming out of the woodwork.”

Paula Orlando waves an American flag, standing next to her miniature Biden mobile, outside the Sumter County Supervisor of Elections Office in Wildwood Wednesday morning.

There’s a lot of support for President Trump, too, in The Villages. And the GOP has had even bigger golf cart parades.

But the Democrats here say they are hopeful and their enthusiasm is very high.

Election workers told the voters to check on their ballots in about 48 hours. They can do that online.

As of 4 p.m. Thursday, more than 5,600 mail-in ballots had been counted in Sumter County, more than half of them from Democratic voters.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.