Beyoncé, Tim Tebow or the Norse god Thor for prez? Those were some of Florida’s more unusual picks for president this past election. And the number of Florida voters who didn’t cast a vote for either Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or any other valid contender spiked in 2016, apparently in protest over the ballot choices. A report released by state officials Wednesday showed more than 161,000 Florida voters who took part in the elections either at the polls or by mail didn’t cast a valid vote for president. The “non-valid votes” include those who wrote in such names as Mickey Mouse or Bernie Sanders and others who simply left the ballot blank. It also includes those who voted for more than one candidate.
All told, the invalid ballots outnumbered Republican Trump’s margin of victory over Democrat Clinton of nearly 113,000 votes to clinch Florida’s 29 electoral votes.
And the rate of invalid votes for president in 2016 — 1.69 percent overall — was more than double the rate it was in 2012 and 2008 when President Barack Obama won the state each time.
“There were some people who were very disgruntled,” said Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles, giving the read of some fellow election officials on the report.