JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In 63 days, voters in Jacksonville will head to the polls to elect new city leaders including the mayor and city council members.
But for more than a quarter of Jacksonville voters, some changes are in store, such as where you can vote and who you can vote for.
It’s all part of the redistricting that is taking place in the city.
Voters usually have a set pattern down for when they go to the polls like where to vote and even who to vote for. But now with the redistricting of Jacksonville’s City Council seats, over 187,000 voters will be impacted.
“If you’re in the Southeast area, or if you’re south or east of the river, you probably did not have any changes at all. But if you live on the Westside, or the Northside, take a good look at your voter information card, because your council district and your representative, depending on the election outcome, could be changing,” said Robert Phillips Chief Elections Assistant.
Those cards have not been sent yet. They should go out soon.
A federal judge ruled on a map the city will now use to divide up the districts. It’s been battled out in court but for now, this is what the city is using. With the upcoming election, it could boost chances for more Democrats and minority candidates to win, but it could also change the makeup of traditionally Black city council districts.
But the real effort in the coming weeks is to educate voters. Not only by groups wanting to make sure those voting by mail get their requests in now, but the elections office is stressing the same thing.
“So now if you want to vote by mail, you need to send in a request to us, we’ve sent out a notice to over 100,000 voters who normally vote by mail, if you receive that in the mail, you can use it to go to the website and you can return it to us. Or you can just give us a call,” Phillips said.
If you were sent a notification by mail and plan to mail that back in, one viewer showed News4JAX on Tuesday that the envelope may not be secure and it has some personal information. You will need to tape it shut before sending it in.