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12% Turnout Forecast In Senate Primary

Early Voting Ended Saturday; Polls Open Tuesday

With just less than 4 percent of voters casting ballots during eight days of early voting in a state Senate district that covers part of Jacksonville, St. Johns, Flagler and Putnam counties, fewer than 20,000 people will likely select the replacement for Sen. Tony Hill.

Ramon Day, Terry Fields, Audrey Gibson and Leandrew Mills III are running in the special election primary for state Senate District 1. All precincts in the district -- which represents about 600,000 people in portions of Duval, St. Johns, Flagler, Putnam and Volusia counties -- will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Candidate Profiles:Senate District 1Video:

Duval County's Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland is projecting a 12 percent turnout in the primary, which will cost taxpayers just more than $500,000.

No Republican qualified in the race, but write-in candidate Andrea Austin did qualify, and so the winner of the Democratic primary will appear on a general election ballot on Oct. 18 -- at a cost of another $500,000.

Holland said no write-in candidate has ever won an election in Florida, and holding this election will cost about $35 per vote.

"Taxpayers dollars," voter Mike Phelts said. "What can I say. I guess it's the law?"

Holland was in Tallahassee on Monday lobbying to change that law to minimize the need for special elections and save money.

"One thing that I am proposing, that when we have a vacancy in these types of senate and representative races, that the party pick a choice in order to fill (the seat until) the next election," Holland said.

Voters should bring an accepted form of photo and signature ID with them when voting.

News4Jax and Channel 4 will have the results as soon as they become available.