COUNTING VOTERS: NEW TECHNOLOGY JUST IN TIME FOR MARATHON CITY COUNCIL ELECTION

The power of a single vote is never more evident than in small local elections. CONTRIBUTED

Keys voters now have even more tools at their disposal to track the live results of political races.

Keyselections.org, the information hub for races in Monroe County, now features information on voter turnout. The site’s home page now displays the number of ballots cast among the 6,290 eligible voters in the Marathon election. 

The current statistics show the number of mail-in and early voting ballots cast, along with an updated voter turnout percentage. On election day, voter turnout will be updated throughout the day, and live results will be available as precincts begin reporting after 7 p.m.

“We’re always trying to move forward a little bit,” said Monroe County Supervisor of Elections Joyce Griffin. “I used to send out emails on election day and every day after early voting, and now I don’t have to do that any more. I’m so happy, and I hope you are also.”

Voter turnout is especially critical in this year’s election, where turnout has historically been much lower when local races are not tied to larger general elections. The 2016 City Council election, tied to a presidential election, saw 9,482 votes cast in the city council race. In stark contrast, the 2015 and 2019 City of Marathon elections saw less than half of this turnout, with 3,803 and 4,535 ballots cast for the city council race, respectively.

So far, early voting is slightly stronger than in 2019. “In 2019, after the second Monday of early voting, there were 116 votes cast. This year, after the second Monday there are 142 votes,” said Griffin.

Regardless, small margins between candidates elevate the importance of each individual vote. In a race where gaps of 100 voters or less are common, the 2016 city council election was decided by a mere 5 votes.

For more information, visit keyselections.org. Voter turnout statistics are available at the bottom of the home page, while a link to live results is easily accessible at the top.

If you would like to have the Weekly delivered to your mailbox or inbox along with our daily news blast, please subscribe here.

Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.