JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It appears voter turnout for the Jacksonville city election is going to be low. As of Friday, early voting and mail-in voting stands at 11%. On St. Patrick’s Day, the Regency Branch Library had a steady stream of early voters, but not a lot. The concern is that turnout may not get any better this weekend because bad weather could keep people from going to the polls.
“I don’t understand that. This is for local government,” Voter Brenda Grier said. “And that’s just as important as a presidential election to me. They make decisions about us locally.”
News4JAX Political Analyst Rick Mullaney said it’s disappointing but traditionally city elections draw the least amount of people. Weather will be a factor, but, some say the negative campaigning on TV and on mailings has also played a role.
“Anybody who threw mud did not get my vote,” Voter Dottie Lemond said.
News4JAX viewers agree that negative ads aren’t helping.
We got this comment from Joel, “Time to send candidates the message that all negative campaigns make everyone look unworthy of elected office.”
And this comment from Mike, “For decades I have never missed an election vote. I will likely simply skip voting this election. Poor candidate quality, negative campaigns.”
We also received an anonymous comment regarding vote by mail. “The ONLY reason I haven’t is because my entire household have yet to receive our mail-in ballots.”
CANDIDATES & RACES ON THE BALLOT: News4JAX Voter’s Guide
About that, if you traditionally received a vote by mail ballot without requesting it, you won’t get one until you renew your request with the Supervisor of Elections office.
And speaking of vote by mail, the elections office will continue to review the ballots where people have voted twice in one race and they will look at damaged ballots to try to determine voter intent. The canvassing board will take that up again on Monday.
Voters can vote early Saturday from 10am-6pm at the 19 sites and the same on Sunday which is the last day of early voting.