‘I don’t trust the mail': Jacksonville voters flock to cast ballots early in person

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s less than 36 days until election day and ballots are already pouring into the Supervisor of Elections Office in Duval County.

On Friday, News4Jax reported voters don’t have to wait to cast their ballots. You can vote now by going to the elections office downtown, requesting a mail ballot in person and then filling it out and dropping it off right then and there, avoiding the mail altogether.

Apparently, a lot of voters listened.

It was a steady stream of people like Naomi Summers on Monday dropping off their ballots.

“Well, I voted like this because I don’t trust the mail. And I don’t really trust standing in line on the third because they might just slam the doors on us,” Summers said.

Vernon Hardwick agrees.

“I don’t trust the mail because of all of the hoopla,” Hardwick said.

That hoopla is keeping staff very busy at the Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office.

“Never have we seen the crowds that we are seeing right now coming right in on the first day,” said Supervisor Mike Hogan.

Last week, staff sent out a record number — more than 143,000 vote-by-mail ballots to homes in Duval County.

Over 1,000 ballots have been returned so far and are being processed.

Ballot boxes have not been set up at library locations just yet. They’ll be available during early voting hours starting Oct 19, the Jacksonville Public Library said.

The signatures will be verified and eventually, the ballots will be tabulated with the results released on Nov. 3.

About the Author: