BlackPAC, Hawkfish and Unite the Country PAC Urge Young Black Voters to Vote Early in Florida

Tallahassee, FL – Today, Hawkfish CEO Josh Mendelsohn and Florida Democratic strategist and CEO of Unite the Country PAC Steve Schale were joined by BlackPAC Executive Director Adrianne Shropshire for a third press briefing to discuss the latest early vote numbers among Black voters in Florida. 

joshstevsWATCH: Josh Mendelsohn and Steve Schale Press Briefing with Featured Guest Adrianne Shropshire

The briefing highlighted that there is still work to be done by Black voters in the state as Election Day nears. Overall, there’s historic turnout with Black voters in Florida, but there remain gaps to close with young voters in particular. This is a crucial week for young Black voters to mobilize and get out the vote. Here are some key insights from Hawkfish:

  • Black voters have nearly surpassed 2016 early vote totals
  • As of yesterday, Black voters were at ~95% of 2016's early vote total
  • As of yesterday, around 62% of black voters who have received a ballot have returned it
  • Black voters are voting at slightly lower rates compared to the rest of the electorate
  • Consistent voters (ages 45-59 and 60+) are voting at higher rates than the overall electorate

“One of the areas that’s been interesting to watch is the share of vote-by-mail versus early vote-in-person,” said Hawkfish CEO Josh Mendelsohn. “Certainly in the Black community we are seeing about a 50/50 split in those methods. As we think about how to turn out more young people of color, particularly Black people, we are getting into that window where you don't necessarily want to encourage ballot return by mail, but we’re absolutely needing to get those numbers up and early vote-in-person would be one of the best ways to do it.”

”It's important that black communities see people out mobilizing the vote -- this is certainly a part of our cultural history,” said BlackPAC Executive Director Adrianne Shropshire. When we think about the last few days of early vote and election day, that’s just a part of the way in which Black people engage in elections, which is to show up in person. As we are talking to people at the doors right now, we are hearing that people are planning to vote in person. So having face to face conversations with folks, and seeing those folks out, creates a sense of urgency and importance.”

Steve Schale, CEO of Unite the Country PAC noted, “There is nothing about this election, at this point, which looks anything like 2016. I mean nothing. It’s cats and dogs compared to 2016. I don't think we can function on any assumption of 2016, other than the people who voted in 2016-18 are probably going to vote. That’s the baseline. What happens beyond that is an unknown. Everything has changed this cycle and we all have to get through election day and see where we are.”

The Hawkfish team and Unite Our Country PAC will continue to hold press briefings to discuss the latest numbers in Florida and share daily updates in the Hawkfish Early Vote Report. 

impact in November and beyond.