JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In six days, voters will elect a new member to the Jacksonville City Council to replace Tommy Hazouri who died last September. It’s a special election between Republican Nick Howland and Democrat Trayce Polson.
Turnout is expected to be very low, but Wednesday, a group of ministers and others gathered to try and change that. Joining them was former Gov. Charlie Crist, who is also now a candidate for the office he once held.
While only two candidates are on the ballot for this special election, it’s still costing Jacksonville over a million dollars because it’s open to every registered voter. During an event for Polson Wednesday, News4JAX asked Crist his thoughts about recent legislation on election reform.
“I think we need to reform what Republicans have done In Tallahassee to voting in Florida,” Crist said. “They made it harder for mail-in ballots they’ve changed where the drop boxes are and made them less in minority communities.”
Local Republican Chairman, Dean Black, responded saying, “I want to make it as easy as possible to vote and as hard as possible to cheat.”
Evangelist Shirley Reed told News4JAX why she thinks this election for the city council seat is important.
“Women need to stand with women. We are the last at the table. We are at the back of the line, so we need to, as women, come to the front of the table and be in front of the line,” she said.
Polson said all underrepresented members of the community need to come out and vote to have their voices heard. Howland said if elected he would represent all people no matter what race or gender.
Early voting turnout stands at 8.6% and predictions are between 10 to 15%.
As in past elections, there will be a push over the weekend to get more people to go vote early after church services. It’s called, ‘Souls to the Polls.’
“A lot of our people are voting earlier now and doing the things we need to do, but we will be moving to the polls Saturday and Sunday,” said Pastor R. L. Gundy.