9% turnout for early voting in Jacksonville elections, do you plan to vote?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There are five days until election day and turnout for early voting is much lower than expected.

News4JAX went to the Highlands branch library early voting site Thursday, and some voters said they’re not surprised others have not shown up to vote.

“There has not been a lot of interest in it,” voter Danny Jackson said. When asked if he thought negative campaigning played a role, he said, “That has a lot to do with it also.”

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Another voter said he will vote no matter what. “It affects everything we do, all around us, our entire life,” voter Mason Logan said.

Jacksonville voters have until Sunday, March 19, to cast their ballot at any one of the 20 early voting locations around Duval County. Election day is Tuesday, March 21. There is no early voting on the Monday before the election. So far, early voting turnout has been low, 9.31% as of Thursday, March 16.

Duval County’s Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan said he’s surprised at the low turnout and will also be surprised if we actually get 30% of the voters by election day.

“Yeah, we didn’t think it’d be quite this low at this point in the game,” Hogan said.

Among those voting early was Donna Deegan who is running for mayor. We asked her about turnout.

“I’d love to see 100% voter turnout. I don’t understand why people don’t come out and vote for the future of their city,” Deegan said. “But, it’s our job to motivate people to come out.”

Some have blamed negative campaigning for the mayor’s race, saying they’re just ignoring the election altogether. We will find out if that’s the case on election night when the results are announced, and what will happen for the second election if no one gets 50% plus one of the votes in any of the races.

Right now, the emphasis is to get more people out to vote, and one thing that could be a factor is the weather. The weather authority is not predicting ideal election weather this weekend or Tuesday, and that has Hogan concerned.

“Looked at the weather report, and that doesn’t encourage me any,” Hogan said. “So, I’m hoping everybody will come out before Saturday and Sunday and certainly come out whether it rains or not.”

There is usually an increase in early voting turnout the weekend before election day. This Sunday there is an event near the Legends center on the northside.

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About the Author:

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