Consider this the last word on the 2014 governor's race between Charlie Crist and Rick Scott.
So what happened this time around?
The state Division of Elections has just released its required report that looks at overvotes and undervotes from the 2014 race. In essence, it's a report that looks at how many voters cast ballots that weren't counted in the governor's race.
(Overvotes are when a ballot wasn't counted because more than one candidate was chosen. An undervote is when the ballot left the spot for governor blank or the machine did not record any choice.)
Here's the main things the new report shows:
A total of 82,402 voters cast ballots, but for a multitude of reasons they did not cast a valid vote for governor. To put that in context that about 1.36 percent of all ballots cast.
Now of course Scott defeated Crist by 64,145 votes.
But a closer look at these numbers show that it is unlikely that these ballots would have changed the outcome.
For example, 14,362 voters did not have their votes counted for governor because they had an invalid write-in vote. Think someone writing say Mickey Mouse or Jeb Bush in the write-in space as one of the reasons these weren't counted.
Another 4,751 votes rejected were provisional ballots.
The report doesn't exactly say why these ballots were rejected. So it could have been because of overvotes or undervotes but it also could mean that the voter for whatever reason wasn't qualified to vote. The law regarding provisional ballots is very strict. Someone can have their provisional ballot rejected for just voting in the wrong precinct.
But the report hints there was a much more clear reason why Scott pulled it off. And that's this time around voters were much more sure about who they wanted for governor.
When comparing the 2014 election to the 2010 election the numbers suggest that the Scott campaign goal to provide voters a deep contrast between the incumbent and Crist _ and reinforced by tens of millions of negative campaign ads _ was in fact truly successful.
That's because the percentage of undervotes _ which is where a person left their ballot blank _ fell between 2010 and 2014.
Back in 2010 the amount of ballots left blank was 1.49 percent versus .93 percent this time around.
So in other words, 81,250 voters skipped the governor's race for whatever reason in the 2010 election. That number fell to 56,037 in 2014.
That's even more notable when you consider that the number of people who voted in the race overall went from 5.35 million to 5.95 million. So the electorate grew, but the number of people turned off by the governor's race still dropped.
One last takeaway from the report is that the push to get more people to use absentee ballots has a downside.
While the amount of undervotes declined, the percentage of people who voted for more than one candidate increased. It went from .07 percent in 2010 to .20 percent in 2014.
Of the 12k overvotes more than 7,000 showed up on absentee ballots.
That's not a complete surprise since a voter doesn't get a chance to re-do their ballot if they vote absentee. If a voter overvotes while using an optical scan machine at a polling place, the voter has a chance to re-do the ballot. (In fact, the state's own report gives a technical explanation that states that the percentage of overvotes may be underrepresented.)
Guess that is something the Scott campaign can agree with.