Back in the early days of Charlotte County, practically everyone registered to vote was a Democrat. In the first recorded numbers we have in 1930, there were 1589 Democrats to 79 Republicans. The Democratic Party, of course, was a different party back then. The Southern Democrats of the 1930s would not recognize their party today. Through to the 1960s the Democratic Party continued to dominate the County, two Democrats to every one Republican. In 1967, there were 8292 Democrats to 4315 Republicans, for example. But times they were a changing. By 1980 Republicans slightly outnumbered Democrats and the trend continued through today, as the gap between the parties increased in Republican favor. (Also increasing though were the number of Independents and others with a dramatic rise in the 1990s that has continued - another story).
Today, compared to 2016, the increase in the number of Republicans over the increase in Democrats is almost 10,000 voters. Republicans increased in number of registrations in that period by nearly 25% with 70,216 registered voters while Democrats only increased by about 11% now with 40,080 voters.
It's not surprising that we see more Biden signs dotting our community, there are a lot of Democrats despite the overwhelmingly more Republicans. And of more concern is voter turnout. Due to a very aggressive Vote-by-Mail campaign, the Democrats who we outnumber almost 3 to 1 are outvoting us. To date - 11,569 Democratic voters have returned their ballots, while only 10,258 have returned theirs. Granted the percentage of Democrats getting vote by mail ballots has been much larger, but in real numbers Republicans still requested 2000 more ballots.
We need to get our ballots in and vote. If you have a ballot, mail it or bring it to the Supervisor of Elections office in Punta Gorda now, or return it to one of the polling places during early voting. And if you don't choose to use vote by mail, please early vote. Don't wait. Anything can happen. Your vote is needed to win this important election. And if you can volunteer to help with the Get Out the Vote program at charlottegop.com