JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A steady stream of voters could be seen on Tuesday going to cast their ballot at voting locations across the Northeast Florida area in Florida’s primary election.
When polls closed on election day, 186,215 Duval County voters had cast a ballot, with the unofficial voter turnout at 28.76%.
Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan said he was proud of the efforts of his team, but said he was disappointed in the turnout numbers.
“I’m always disappointed with the turnout. I would like to have 100% turnout,” Hogan said. “I just can’t understand why Americans don’t vote.”
On the Northside, it was smooth sailing in the morning at the precinct Highlands Regional Library on Dunn Avenue. Traffic was minimal and there were no long lines when News4JAX was there in the morning.
There weren’t any complaints. Voters told News4JAX it was easy to get in and out.
“It was nice. It was fast,” said voter Teresa Dennis. “It was efficient — very efficient.”
“My voting experience was excellent. Everything went smoothly in there. It didn’t take long at all to vote,” said voter Constance Howard. “Most of the time here at this precinct library, it’s always nice. I always have a good experience when I come here.”
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In Arlington, there was a consistent number of voters going into the precinct at Faith Chapel Free Will Baptist Church on Lee Road. Voters spent more than 10 minutes inside. One voter told News4JAX that it was an easy process and she felt good about casting her ballot.
“It was really fun. It was really nice — get in, get out,” said voter Kim Pope. “I feel like I have a voice.”
Elsewhere in Duval County, the opening of a voting location in Jacksonville Beach was delayed Tuesday morning after a poll worker was unable to access voting equipment, according to the Duval County supervisor of elections. Chief Elections Officer Robert Phillips told News4JAX the opening of the Bennie Furlong Senior Center was delayed about 45 minutes, until 7:45 a.m., because of the issue.
In addition to that issue, Hogan told News4JAX that there were power outages at two precincts, but overall it had been a quiet day.
“We never stopped voting because we have that new equipment that has extra battery time,” he said.
Voters did not need to be registered with a particular party to vote on Tuesday. Both the Jacksonville sheriff’s special election and the property tax referendum for Duval County schools are nonpartisan, meaning they were open to all Duval County voters.
In St. Johns County, the precinct at the Julington Creek Annex was busy during early voting and on election day. Poll workers said it had been smooth at the site, with no major hiccups. Electioneering could be seen happening outside the required 150 feet from the entrance.
Even though this is a primary election, a lot of the races on the ballot are definitive — particularly, the school board races. There are three St. Johns County School Board races.
The unofficial voter turnout in St. Johns County was at 28.37%, with 62,231 of the county’s voters casting a ballot.