Watsco Center reports 82% voter turnout with Clinton lean

Students line up at the Watsco Center to cast their vote for the presidential election on Nov. 8, 2016. Oliver Zaruba // Staff Photographer

Despite short lines that seemed to indicate low participation on Election Day, 82 percent of eligible voters showed up to cast their ballots at the Watsco Center, Get Out The Vote (GOTV) announced on Facebook Wednesday. This turnout rate ranks at No. 12 of the 784 precincts in Miami-Dade County.

Of the 1,613 people who voted for president at Watsco between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., 64.17 percent supported Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, while 32.67 percent chose Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Trump’s victory quickly brought trusted methods of polling into question; however, this data from a campus location is consistent with predictions of higher support for Clinton among educated voters.

Fifty-one voters opted for a third-party candidate, representing a combined percentage of less than 4 percent of voters at the Watsco Center that day.

Though Watsco Center voters weren’t limited to students, the 82-percent turnout is a significant increase from the 40.8 percent of UM students who showed up in person to vote in the 2012 election, according to a report by Tufts University. The report also states that UM’s student voting rate in 2012 was 3.2 percent higher than all institutions and 3 percent higher than other private research institutions.

The Miami Hurricane conducted an online poll asking readers which issue they felt was most important in the 2016 presidential election. Of the 469 respondents, 38 percent said the economy was most important, while 19 percent said human rights and race relations were most important, followed by issues of immigration, gun control, environmental concerns and education.

Short lines at the Watsco Center on Tuesday could be attributed to the convenience of voting by absentee ballot, especially for out-of-state students. According to the Tufts report, 30.9 percent of UM students voted by absentee ballot in 2012.

The race for senator was a bit tighter, with Democratic nominee Patrick Murphy receiving 51.59 percent of the precinct’s votes compared to his Republican opponent, Marco Rubio, who brought in 46.69 percent of the votes. The other candidates on the ballot received less than 1 percent each.

Amendment 2 passed in Florida, legalizing the use of medical marijuana, and Amendment 1, the confusingly-worded solar amendment, was not passed.