4-page ballot to take longer to fill out

Voters can cut down on voting time by preparing sample ballot, voting early

Published On: Oct 09 2012 12:34:05 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 12 2012 12:56:05 PM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

This year's election ballot is going to be four pages long, which means voting may take a lot longer than it has in the past.

"This is the first time the entire state has had a four-page ballot," Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland said. "We've looked at it. It takes about 17 minutes to read the entire ballot. It's over 3,000 words."

That 17 minutes doesn't include the time to comprehend the amendments for those who aren't familiar with them. By comparison, in past elections, it has taken an average of five to six minutes to vote.

"If you go to the polls for the very first time to look at the ballot, you're going to just be dazed on how much is on there," Holland said. "And there's important things. We don't want people to glaze over it, only vote for one race. Take your time."

So what should voters do to save time?

If they want to get ahead of the game, they can go to DuvalElections.com, scroll down and click the link in red on the right side of the page that reads, "IMPORTANT!: Precinct Designation & Location Finder and Sample Ballot." Then type in a home address, click "General Ballot," and get a preview of the election ballot.

Registered voters will also receive a sample ballot in the mail the week before early voting. They can fill one out and bring it in with them already marked with how they want to vote to get in and out in a timely fashion.

There are other ways to cut down on time. One way is not voting at a precinct.

"What we recommend: Vote early, vote by mail, go that way that your time, and look at your sample ballot and make your selections before you come in," Holland said.

Another suggestion for cutting down on that voting time is to get to know the amendments before casting a vote by clicking here.