Polls open for Jacksonville City Council seat special election

Race between Howland, Polson expected to be close

All 199 precincts will remain open until 7 p.m.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Polls opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday in a special election to replace the Jacksonville City Council seat left vacant when Tommy Hazouri died in September.

All 199 precincts will remain open until 7 p.m. To find your precinct, click here and enter your address into the system.

If you have any questions regarding your voter information or voting on Election Day, visit www.duvalelections.gov, or call (904) 255-VOTE (8683).

VIEW: Sample ballot for special election

News4JAX is getting a good indication that the race between Democrat Trayce Polson and Republican Nick Howland for the At-Large City Council Group 3 seat is neck and neck.

Earlier this month, Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan was calling for a 15% turnout. Now, he says that number is slightly shifting.

“So we have reevaluated. There was a lot of activity in the last three days of early voting, so we are looking at probably pushing 17% turn out,” Hogan said.

Here is why observers say it’s going to be a close election.

RELATED: Race for Jacksonville City Council seat expected to be close

So far, 77,761 ballots have been cast in early voting and by mail.

Of that, we know that 4,000 more Democrats have voted than Republicans, but the big factor is the independent voters.

More than 7,500 have already cast their votes. And a poll conducted by the University of North Florida that was released last week shows those independent voters are going for Howland by a 2 to 1 margin.

One other note on voting mail ballots: 247 of them have signatures that can’t be verified. Those voters have been sent notices to fix them. So far, 74 have responded. Those who have not responded have until this Thursday to do so.

In a close race like some predict this will be, those few ballots could play a big factor in determining a winner.

VIEW: Check your provisional ballot status | Voter turnout data for special election

News4JAX was with both candidates on Monday as they were wrapping up their campaigns.

Polson was going door to door in a neighborhood near Edward Waters University.

“This isn’t an R thing or a D thing. This is about the people of the city and what we all need to move forward,” Polson said.

Howland was at the Republican headquarters Monday morning, working on getting the vote out. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was helping him with robocalls.

“It’s been a thrill. It’s been six months, and there’s just one day left. We’re looking forward to tomorrow and seeing a great result,” Howland said.

RELATED: In their own words: 2 candidates running for open Jacksonville City Council seat | Howland, Polson address Jacksonville topics in 1st public debate

A reminder that this citywide race is open to all Duval County voters.

About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.