Community leaders demand more accessible voting in Duval County

Supervisor of Elections says some changes already in works

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Local pastors, community leaders, and educators held a news conference Tuesday morning outside the Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office, calling on its leader -- Mike Hogan -- to make voting more accessible during the coronavirus pandemic

Pastor R.L. Gundy and other community leaders said they’ve been requesting the changes for two years, pleading with Hogan to prioritize voter accessibility in every Jacksonville neighborhood.

“We join fellow stakeholders this morning asking Mr. Hogan to send each and every registered voter a vote by mail application and provide them with information on how to vote by mail -- to include signature update and how to return that ballot via mail, at early locations, and how to track their ballot,” said Lanelle Phillmon, vice president of the League of Woman Voters of Jacksonville.

Community leaders are also asking Hogan’s office to:

  • Provide outdoor drop box locations with drive-thru options for returning ballots
  • Provide early voting locations on the campuses of Edward Waters College and the University of North Florida
  • And place the early voting site in the gym at Edward Waters College for safety and parking

The group plans to continue demonstrating in front of the Supervisor of Elections Office and threatened legal action if their requests are denied.

“We need to go back to the same federal judge that ordered the early voting sites and let him take a look at what they’ve been doing the last 16 years to suppress voters in Duval County,” Gundy said.

Hogan told News4Jax his office will not be sending vote by mail applications to every registered voter because his office already mailed voter information cards to more than 260,000 Duval County residents.

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