Could fewer early voting days increase turnout?

Duval elections supervisor predicts up to 4,000 will vote Saturday

Poll workers set up for early voting.
Poll workers set up for early voting.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval County's supervisor of elections says fewer days of early voting for this year's primary election won't trim the number of early voters.

While fewer people vote in primaries than in general elections, Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland says 14,032 people had voted through Friday and he expects up to 4,000 will vote on Saturday's final day of early voting, pushing the number who have cast ballots well past 15,878 -- the number that voted in the 2010 primary.

The Florida Legislature decided counties should pare down the number of early voting days from 14 to eight, but increase the hours open to voters each day. Holland thinks that has helped, not hurt turnout.

Holland also thinks turnout at the precincts on Tuesday will be higher that first expected.

This opinion is echoed by political strategist Bert Ralston, who thinks the reason is a lot of chatter on a couple big races, and a lot of uncertainty elsewhere.

"There are a lot of candidates out there, in a lot of those races," Ralston told Channel 4's Kent Justice. "So I think what is going on here is people are waiting to vote ... as opposed to deciding not to vote."

Holland says Duval County is on track for 110,000 votes in the election -- about a third cast before election day.

Early voting continues Saturday in all Florida counties.  (Check county-by-county location and hours for early voting.)