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Jacksonville voters: Time running out to surprise the pundits

Early voting in City Council races ends on Sunday; general election Tuesday

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(Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After 13 days of early voting, only 51,810 of the 608,564 registered voters in Jacksonville have cast a ballot in the city's general election. That's only 8.5%.

With no marquee races and only a smattering of campaign commercials and direct mail pieces going out for Jacksonville's May election, observers originally predicted only a 10% voter turnout to determine who will serve in two citywide and three district City Council races.

Jacksonville Voter's Guide: Races, candidates on the ballot
Locations, times where you can early vote

The last time there was no mayor's race in a Jacksonville May election -- 2007, when John Peyton won a second term with 75 percent of the vote -- turnout was 9%.

Halfway through early voting, Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan revised his turnout prediction to the low to mid-teens, but didn't want to be too specific.

"We were encouraged by the first few days (of early voting), then the bottom fell out on the weekend," Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan said Monday. "Predicting this is like predicting the weather."

Voter turnout in the teens is low by almost any measurement and much lower than the 24% of Jacksonville voters who cast ballots in the March election that featured races for mayor, sheriff and more than a dozen other races.

In November, 63% of Jacksonville's voters cast ballots for our state and national leaders. So why do few take the opportunity to select who will lead their city and decide how local tax money will be spent?

Fewer than 10,000 votes were cast in some of the individual council district races in the March election and there could less than that many votes this time around. 

You're often told one vote can make a difference. If only one of every 10 registered voters casts a ballot, math shows that the power of each vote is magnified tenfold. 

It's not too late to surprise the pundits' prediction of civic apathy. Mike Hogan will be happy to have his poll workers stay busier and thrilled to have underestimated the engagement of Jacksonville's citizens.

Early voting continues until 6 p.m. Sunday and all 199 neighborhood precincts will be open Tuesday.

Scroll down for a list of all available early voting locations and hours. Voters can cast ballots at any early-voting location. On Tuesday, voters can only vote at their assigned precinct near their home.

In order to vote at the polls during early voting 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.

Absentee voting, or voting by mail, continues through the close of business election day. Voters can pick up a mail-in ballot at the Supervisor of Elections Office at any time up to and including that day.

Voter's Guide
What's on the ballot? Who are the candidates?

Early voting dates and locations

All sites are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 29 through May 12 except for the Supervisor of Elections main office, which is open from 8 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

  • Supervisor of Elections Main Office, 105 E. Monroe St.
  • Argyle Branch Library, 7973 Old Middleburg Road South
  • Beaches Branch Library, 600 3rd St., Neptune Beach
  • Bradham-Brooks Branch Library, 1755 Edgewood Ave. West
  • Edward Waters College Schell-Sweet Community Center, 1697 Kings Road
  • Gateway Town Center, 910 W. 44th St.
  • Highlands Regional Library, 1826 Dunn Ave.
  • Legends Community Center, 5130 Soutel Dr.
  • Mandarin Branch Library, 3330 Kori Road
  • Murray Hill Branch Library, 918 Edgewood Ave. South
  • Oceanway Community Center, 12215 Sago Ave.
  • Pablo Creek Regional Library, 13295 Beach Blvd.
  • Regency Square Branch Library, 9900 Regency Square Blvd.
  • San Marco Branch Library, 1513 LaSalle St.
  • South Mandarin Branch Library, 12125 San Jose Blvd.
  • Southeast Regional Library, 10599 Deerwood Park Blvd.
  • University of North Florida University Center, 12000 Alumni Dr.
  • University Park Branch Library, 3435 University Blvd. North
  • Webb Wesconnett Regional Library, 6887 103rd St.
  • West Branch Library, 1425 Chaffee Road South

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