All signs point to low voter turnout Tuesday

Jacksonville mayor, sheriff, City Council, other posts on ballot Tuesday

By Jim Piggott - Reporter, Kent Justice - Anchor/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Fewer than 1 in 4 registered voters in Jacksonville will be picking who will be mayor, sheriff, tax collector, property appraiser and several City Council members for the next four years. That's the estimate coming out of the Supervisor of Elections Office based on the light turnout for early voting and return of mail-in ballots.

With just over 12 percent turnout over two weeks of early voting and mail-in ballot returns, elections officials' latest guess is a 23 percent total turnout when the polls close Tuesday.

"Yeah, it does look like we are in for a light day tomorrow," Robert Phillips, chief elections assistant for the Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office, said Monday. "I think there's a lot of different things going on with the electorate. I think they know there's an election because there are so many ads and billboards and signs out. I don't know why there's not a lot of interest."

So far, more than 35,000 Republicans voted, outnumbering Democrats by 2,000 votes. More than 7,000 voters with no party affiliation have also cast ballots.

Workers are setting up the 199 precincts for the city election. Each will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

VOTER'S GUIDE: Races, candidates on the ballot

"We really want everybody to get out and vote. That's the most important thing," Phillips said. "We are hoping the turnout gets between 20 and 25 percent."

Every voter will see a minimum of nine races on the ballot, and voters who live in a City Council district where there is a contested seat will see a 10th race.

The candidates with the highest profiles have been in the mayor’s race. Many observers are watching to see if any of the candidates can force a runoff by keeping the mayor from capturing more than 50 percent of the vote. Many City Council races appear almost certain to move to the May runoff election. 

In order to vote at the polls, 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.

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