Palm Tran offers free rides to polls Tuesday; 368 take advantage


UPDATE, noon Nov. 9: Palm Tran says 368 people used the free Palm Tran rides to the polls on Tuesday.

Palm Tran, Palm Beach County’s public transportation system, says it will offer free rides Tuesday for people to vote.

You must present a valid voter information card when boarding.

The offer is valid for all 35 routes system-wide throughout Palm Beach County for the entire day, but isn’t valid for use on Palm Tran Connection, which provides call-ahead bus service for the elderly, disabled and ill.

Palm Beach County voters will cast ballots for president as well as 36 other federal, state and local races and seven referenda, including four amendments to the Florida Constitution and a Palm Beach County sales tax increase.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday for 868 precincts at 461 polling locations, according to the county supervisor of elections.

Bring your voter registration card and a form of photo identification. Your polling place is shown on your voter registration card, or you can find it at

Palm Beach County Mayor Berger gives ‘state of the county’ Thursday


With the fallout from Tuesday’s national election still settling, Palm Beach County pivots back to local politics Wednesday morning, as the county’s mayor, District 5 Commissioner Mary Lou Berger, presents the annual “State of the County” address at a breakfast meeting of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches.

Berger also will know by Wednesday morning whether she herself is a lame duck, or has fended off a challenge by suburban Boca Raton GOP newcomer Taniel Shant.

She also likely will weigh in on whether voters approved the 1-cent sales tax surcharge the county proposed in order to generated what it said is much needed money for schools, roads and parks.

Wednesday’s event is from 7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Palm Beach County Convention Center,  650 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. Call (561) 833-3711.

Palm Beach County early voting nearly double that for 2012; 6.4mm voted statewide

031316-met-early-voting-02Nearly a quarter million people took part in early voting in advance of Tuesday’s election, nearly twice as many as did in 2012, according to unofficial overnight numbers from the county’s Supervisor of Elections.

Sunday, the last day of the 14-day event, was the busiest. The 23,091 coming to the county’s 15 sites represented nearly 10 percent of the total of 242,017.

That compares to a total of 124,896 locally in eight days of early voting in the 2012 election.

According to the state Division of Elections, 380,048 people in Palm Beach County have cast ballots either by mail-in or early voting. Of those voting by mail, Democrats lead Republicans 68,193 to 41,288. Of those voting early, Democrats lead GOP voters 112,021 to 66,932 .

Statewide, more than 6.4 million Florida voters have cast ballots, with Democrats casting 87,249 more than Republicans.

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More than 4.5 million have voted in Florida; 250,000 in Palm Beach County

031316-met-early-voting-02Through Tuesday, 140,000 people have taken part in the first nine days of 14 days of early voting in Palm Beach County, according to overnight statistics from the county’s Supervisor of Elections.

That compares to a total of 124,896 locally in eight days of early voting in the 2012 election.

Through Wednesday morning, nearly 4.5 million Floridians, more than 250,000 of those in Palm Beach County, have voted early or by mail for the Nov. 8 election, according to the Florida Division of Elections.

That already nearly equals the 4.8 million who voted up to Election Day in 2012, according to state figures. In 2012, 3.8 million voted on Election Day itself.

Of those mailing in this year, Republicans lead Democrats 909,299 to 835,206. Of those voting early, the GOP trails 889,655 to 946,292.

In Palm Beach County mail-ins, Democrats lead 55,860 to 33,616. In state early-voting stats, which don’t exactly match those posted locally, Democrats lead 66,871 to 40,330.


More than 4 million Floridians already have voted

Early voting Friday at Hagen Ranch Rd. branch
Early voting Friday at Hagen Ranch Rd. branch

In eight days of early voting in Palm Beach County in the 2012 election, 124,896 people participated.

Through Monday night, totals for eight days of early voting for this year are just shy of that, at 124,030, according to unofficial figures from the county’s Supervisor of Elections.

The difference: this year is set for 14 days and six days of voting remain.

Statewide, through either early voting or mail-in, more than 4.1 million people already have cast ballots for the Nov. 8 election, In Palm Beach County, the total is 224,782.

According to Florida Division of Elections figures posted Tuesday morning, of those submitting mail-in ballots statewide, Republicans stayed ahead of Democrats, 865,187 to 793,105. In early voting, they trailed Democrats 783,416 to 839,572.

State mail-in figures for Palm Beach County show Democrats lead GOP voters 50,954 to 30,159. Early-voting stats, which don’t exactly match those posted locally, show 59,498 Democrats and 35,264 Republicans.



Nearly 17,000 took part in first day of early voting

102516-pbc-early-voting-4early1024116In a hint of a dramatic turnout in the the Nov. 8 election, nearly 17,000 people cast ballots Monday, the first of 14 days of early voting in Palm Beach County, according to an unofficial box score from the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections.

The total of 16,592 already represents more than half the 28,865 who cast ballots in 14 days of early voting for the Aug. 30 vote, and nearly a third of the 54,092 who did so in nine days of early voting for the March primary.

It’s more than the 15,525 who voted early on the first of eight days for the November 2012 general election and accounts for 13 percent of the total of 124,896. If the pace were to continue, the 14-day early voting total this year would be 232,288.

Pundits have forecast that as many people will vote  before Nov. 8 as on Election Day, doing so either by mail-in ballots or via early voting, which started Monday in Palm Beach County and runs through Nov. 6.

As was the case in the March and August primaries, the biggest turnout of the 15 early voting sites on Monday was at the Hagen Ranch Road branch county library west of Boynton Beach, where 1,923 showed up.

According to the Florida Division of Elections, as of midmorning Monday, nearly 2 million mail-in ballots statewide remained outstanding, and more than 1.2 million already had been turned in. Of those submitted, Republicans held a 503,632 to 483,019 edge. In Palm Beach County, 117,838 were out and 60,051 had been submitted; of the latter, Democrats in the blue-leaning county outnumbered GOP voters 30,980 to 17,664.


Many new faces when Palm Beach County commissioners, legislators next meet

palm-beach-county-logoNew faces will abound when the Palm Beach County Commission and the Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation hold their annual joint meeting early next year.

County Commissioners and Palm Beach County’s state senators and state representatives will meet from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 4 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.

At least two, and as many as four, of the seven county commissioners could be different. District 7 commissioner Priscilla Taylor was ousted by Mack Bernard in August. District 3 Commissioner Shelley Vana stepped down because of term limits. And commissioners Hal Valeche (District 1) and Mayor Mary Lou Berger (District 4) face challengers Nov. 8. Commissioners Melissa McKinlay, Steven Abrams, and Paulette Burdick are in through 2018.

Of the 13 state legislators in the Palm Beach County delegation, only one definitely will return to his post: Rep. Bill Hager, who was reelected without opposition.

Rep. Kevin Rader has been elected to the State Senate. Sen. Joseph Abruzzo moved to the House side and was elected without opposition.  Rep. Dave Kerner left to run for Vana’s county commission seat and Rep. Bobby Powell Jr. stepped down to run for State Senate. Irv Slosberg left the House for a failed State Senate run.

Out by term limits: Sen. Maria Lorts Sachs and Rep. Mark Pafford. Sen. Pat Rooney opted not to seek reelection.

Sen. Joe Negron, scheduled to be the incoming State Senate president, faces a challenger Nov. 8, as does Sen. Jeff Clemens and Reps. Lori Berman and MaryLynn Magar. 




Vote-by-mail ballots to be sent out Friday for military/overseas, Oct. 7 for all else

Early voting at Jupiter Community Center Thursday, August 18, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Early voting at Jupiter Community Center Thursday, August 18, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

Vote by mail ballots for the Nov. 8 general election will be sent out Friday for registered voters who requested them and are in the military or living overseas, and Oct. 7 for everyone else, the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections said this week.

The deadline to ask that a ballot be mailed to you is 5 p.m. Nov. 2.

All ballots must be returned by Election Day at 7 p.m. at the main office or 5 p.m. at satellite offices.

Early voting runs from Oct. 24 to Nov. 6.  Sites are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m . Bring a current picture or signature ID.

For more, call 561-656-6200 or visit

Early Voting Locations:

County Commission election debate: two no shows

Wednesday’s debate at a luncheon meeting of the Economic Forum of Palm Beach County had a full house, but featured some notable empty chairs nevertheless.

The event was to feature three Palm Beach County Commission races but only one candidate appeared in two of the three, Forum Club President Rebel Cook said.

District 1 incumbent Hal Valeche, Republican, and his Democratic opponent, Tony Bennett, were on hand.

But Taniel Shant, a GOP challenger to Mayor and District 5 Commissioner Mary Lou Berger, did not respond to the Forum Club’s invitation.

Neither did no-party-affiliation candidate Sean C. Hogan, who will face State Rep. Dave Kerner for District 3.

Also on hand Wednesday: Mack Bernard, who will represent District 7 after defeating Commissioner Priscilla Taylor and a pair of other candidates on August 30.

The debate, at the Kravis Center’s Rinker Playhouse in West Palm Beach, was moderated by Randy Schultz, former editorial page editor of The Palm Beach Post.

Elections office: Palm Beach County turnout was just 19.2 percent

Early voting at Jupiter Community Center Thursday, August 18, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Early voting at Jupiter Community Center Thursday, August 18, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

Last week, Palm Beach County’s elections chief predicted a 20 percent turnout for Tuesday’s vote. She actually  had been a bit optimistic.

Total voting — in person on Tuesday, early, or by mail — was 167,497, according to data from the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections.

That’s 19.2 percent of the 872,061 registered to vote.

The breakdown: 84604 voted Election Day, 54,029 used mail-in, and 28,865 voted early.

Supervisor Susan Bucher had given the 20 percent figure even as she predicted an 80 percent turnout for the high-profile Nov. 8 election, which will include the presidential vote.

Florida Division of Elections statistics weren’t immediately available Wednesday. The division has said turnout statewide was 18 percent in the 2014 primary.

Bucher, who was up late Tuesday night with the voting tabulations, couldn’t immediately be reached Wednesday.

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