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Republicans dominate in surge of early voting in The Villages

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Some voters waited in line for about an hour early Tuesday during the first day of early voting at the Laurel Manor Recreation Center in The Villages. Photo: Joe Byrnes

Seniors and others in The Villages stood in line for up to an hour Tuesday as in-person voting started in Sumter County.

Statewide, more than three million Floridians have already voted two weeks before the General Election.

Sumter Republicans were outpacing Democrats four to one in early voting. But a lot of the Democrats have already voted by mail in this largely Republican county.

Barbra Boscana stood in line for about 45 minutes to vote early because, as she put it, “you’re not promised tomorrow.” She’s a huge fan of Donald Trump.

“He’s just a terrific president, probably the best ever,” she said.

Villages resident Bob Schunemann backed Trump in 2016, but this time he went with Joe Biden as, in his words, “a man of ethics and principles.” 

It took him 20 to 30 minutes to vote in person.

“Both my wife and I thought there’s been so much malarkey out there,” he said. “We don’t know what’s true and what’s not. So let’s go vote ourselves and be certain. Otherwise, we’d have mailed it in.”

The county’s voter turnout, including mail-in ballots, is already above 31 percent.

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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.