JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Elections workers arriving at their office on East Monroe Street early Monday morning were greeted by a spray-painted message across the front windows: “If voting mattered, it would be illegal.”
Police were called at 7:50 a.m. to investigate the overnight vandalism and were reviewing surveillance video. Shortly after 9 a.m., city workers began to clean off the graffiti.
According to the police report, damage to the building was estimated at $50.
Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan the vandalism was unfortunate but he wasn’t surprised.
“We have to be prepared for things like this," Hogan said. “You know there’s been a great deal of frustration that we see in the press and emails and phone calls to us. And folks are scared when they finally reach us and see the information they have is inaccurate, then they are relieved."
The incident didn’t delay the elections office from opening or people from dropping off vote-by-mail ballots in the dropbox outside.
Rather than be intimidated, some who dropped off ballots Monday said this should not deter people from voting.
“If you’re passionate about it, it’s not going to stop you from doing your civic duty,” Stacey Lunsford said.
Another voter who didn’t want to give his name said his house was also the target of political vandalism.
“My Trump flag was flying and they put ‘Putin-lover’ spray-painted on my garage door,” he told News4Jax.
This wasn’t the first time the Supervisor of Elections Office has been vandalized. The office was damaged during the unrest downtown in late May, part of nationwide protests after the death of George Floyd.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office criminal mischief report, the case referred to the detective division for a follow-up.