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Early voting in Florida primary ends this weekend

Where to vote; reasons why primary voting matters

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Early voting in the Florida primary election ends Saturday across much of the state and on Sunday in Duval County. (Locations, times for early voting in all Northeast Florida counties)

As of Sunday morning, more than 1.6 million Floridians had already voted early or by mail. 

A million or more voters are expected to vote Tuesday when all precincts across the state will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There are more than 13 million total registered voters in Florida, so just over 12 percent have voted early or by mail. Another 1.4 million people had yet to return their vote-by-mail ballots, which must be turned in when the polls close Tuesday to count.

Election officials expect the total primary turnout may not reach 30 percent. Only 24 percent of voters turned out in the 2016 primary.

WHAT'S ON THE BALLOT? News4Jax Voter's Guide

Why vote in the primary?

Even independent voters will see multiple races on their ballot, and in some cases, those who vote in August will choose who is elected to office. This includes county and circuit court judges who, once elected, rarely face opposition again.

In Duval County, there's a county-wide special election for tax collector, plus three school board races that are nonpartisan. There's also a Florida House race that will appear on the primary ballot of all voters who live in the North and Northwest Jacksonville district because there's no opponent in November.

There are school board and other races in most Northeast Florida counties that are nonpartisan. All the local races on the Columbia County ballot are nonpartisan and will appear on the primary ballot, as are city races in St. Augustine, St. Augustine Beach, Palatka and Palm Coast.

All voters in Clay County will be asked about a higher property tax for schools and Columbia County voters will be asked whether to raise the sales tax to pay for road projects. These questions are only on the primary ballot, so those who wait until November won't get to weigh in.

Incumbents in the 3rd and 5th congressional districts, Florida Senate District 4 and Florida House District 11 face challenges both in their party primaries and in the November election.