Record-setting early voting ends in Jacksonville

Nassau, Bradford counties also among handful of Florida counties that allowed full 14 days of early voting

inal numbers for early voting in Northeast Florida Counties are in.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – More than 60% of Duval County voters had cast ballots when two weeks of early voting ended Sunday evening -- that’s 399,049 ballots cast. Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan told News4Jax that when the polls closed Tuesday -- the last remaining chance to vote for president and in more than a dozen other races -- he believes turnout will reach between 85% to 92%.

“I hope that everyone who hasn’t voted still goes out and votes on Tuesday,” said Rachel Bloomfield, who was one of 3,650 who voted Sunday at the Prime Osborn III Convention Center, one of 20 early voting sites in Duval County.

While most of the state’s 67 counties ended in-person early voting Saturday, Duval, Nassau and Bradford counties offered in-person voting on Sunday -- where 399,049 ballots have been cast for a 60% turnout by mail -- on the last day allowed under Florida law. Many counties around Jacksonville have seen turnout already above 70%.

On Sunday in Duval County, 4,172 voted by mail, and adding early votes, 21,285 people voted.

In Nassau County where the polls closed at 6 p.m., there was a 69% turnout with 1,605 mail-in and early voting ballots.

In Bradford County, there was a 50% turnout with 414 mail-in and early voting ballots Sunday.

“(It was) smooth, easy, no stress at all," early voter Nathan Fuller said. “Lines (were) very short. Everyone obviously is very passionate this election, and it’s great to see everyone turning out for it."

Voters still expect a lot of activities at the polls on Tuesday.

“Oh my gosh, I think Tuesday is probably going to be a hectic day,” said voter Tyvin McSwain.

“I think it might be a little bit crazy,” Rachel Bloomfield said.

Across Florida, voting by mail and at early, in-person voting sites came in faster than ever before. There were lines in the first few days, but just a steady flow most of the last 10 days.

At the Atlantic Recreation Center in Nassau County, there were no lines Sunday morning.

“I like to get it out of the way and not have it to fight the crowds,” said Fernandina Beach resident Sherrie Jones.

Many other Nassau County voters agreed.

“I don’t want to be in the crowds on Tuesday,” said Jadda Bishop.

Thomas Arnold said: “It seems a little bit more simpler, probably less people, today.”

News4Jax Reporter Brittany Muller spoke with voters in Fernandina Beach on Sunday, the final day of early voting in Nassau and Bradford counties.

Early voting allowed people to vote at any site in your home county. On Election Day, people can vote only at their assigned, neighborhood precincts, which will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

WHAT/WHO IS ON THE BALLOT: News4Jax Voter’s Guide

Those who cast ballots in person on Election Day will see precautions to protect both the voters and the poll workers from coronavirus. Voters are encouraged to wear face coverings and, if they choose, bring their own black pen to use on the ballot rather than the pen provided.

Extra workers will regularly sanitize and clean all contact surfaces, including voting booths. Voting booths will also be spaced for social distancing, and you will be reminded to social distance, too.

Voting so far in Northeast Florida

Advance voting by mail

If you requested a vote-by-mail ballot and haven’t returned it already, the U.S. Postal Service recommends not returning those ballots by mail since they must arrive at your county’s supervisors of elections office by Tuesday. Secure drop boxes are available at each county’s supervisor of elections office and, during voting hours, at all early voting sites. There will also be a drive-by dropbox for Duval County ballots available at TIAA Bank Field from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Sunday.

If you mailed your ballot or used a dropbox, you can track the status of your vote by finding a link on your county’s supervisor of elections website.

In-person voting

In order to vote at the polls during early voting or on Election Day, citizens must show a current and valid picture and signature identification. (List of acceptable forms of photo identification) If your photo identification does not contain your signature, you will be required to show an additional form of identification that provides your signature. If you do not provide ID, you can cast a provisional ballot.

About the Authors:

Digital election producer in 2022. He created in 1995 and managed The Local Station's website through 2021.

A Florida girl and North Carolina A&T SU grad who thrives in breaking news.