The polls will not officially open for the Florida GOP presidential primary until 7 a.m. Tuesday, but thousands already cast their votes.
According to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections, more than 52,000 mail-in ballots were returned to the elections office.
Early voting, which ended on Jan. 28, had 1,972 votes. These were Republican voters who went to the polling sites in Pinellas County early to cast their votes.
More than 11,200 people have sent in mail ballots or cast early votes in Clearwater. Already, 6,017 mail ballots were returned for the primary and an additional 4,807 votes were returned for the city election. There were 390 early voters.
Nancy Whitlock, elections administrator for the Supervisor of Elections Office, said it is not her office's policy to comment or make predictions about the turnout.
"We usually do not try to predict turnout for elections," Whitlock said. "Past presidential preference primaries have ranged from 21 to 41 percent in the last 20 years."
For the Jan. 31 primary, 97,600 GOP presidential primary mail-in ballots were requested and 52,760 were returned. That is a 54.1 percent voter turnout for Pinellas County. But that number will climb. The deadline for mail-in ballots to be received is Tuesday at 7 p.m., according to the Supervisor of Elections.
The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Remember, Florida is a closed primary state, which means only registered Republicans can vote in the GOP presidential primary.
All Clearwater voters also will choose their next mayor and make changes to the city charter including adding time that councilmembers can serve on the city council and extending the time between making changes to the charter.
Clearwater's mayoral election is non-partisan with George Cretekos and Christine Marketos-Cuomo vying for the city's top seat.
Stay with Patch for updates on tomorrow's big election, which polls have former .
In Pinellas County, there are 220,024 registered Republicans, according to the Supervisor of Elections Office. That means prior to election day, nearly 24 percent of all Pinellas County registered Republicans already have voted.