Voter turnout key in mayoral, property appraiser, city council race as early voting nears

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Early voting beings Monday in Jacksonville.

Duval County residents will be marking their ballots in the runoff election to elect a new mayor, property appraiser and several city council seats.

What’s important in all the races? Voter turnout.

Election staff and observers in the first election said the turnout was about 25%, which wasn’t what they expected.

Already 30,000 mail-in ballots have been received at an election center on the city’s northside.

While the majority of people still vote on election day, early voting is becoming more and more popular each election.

On May 1, 19 early voting sites will open across the county. Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan predicts voter turnout will hit 37% ― something he doesn’t think is good.

“I don’t understand why people don’t vote in every single election, especially in a mayor’s election in a city. This is the largest [city]. Jacksonville, Florida. I’m really disappointed,” Hogan told News4JAX.

Work is underway to get ready for this go around. Starting next week election workers will start processing some of the ballots — not counting them — checking for errors, cross-outs or overvotes, where more than one candidate was selected for a race. In which, a panel will try to determine the voter’s possible intent.

“So, everybody’s ready. We’ve already trained and had 60 training classes in between these last two elections. And so we’re ready to go,” Hogan said.

Since it’s a runoff election, the ballot will include fewer names and races but the final results will decide where Jacksonville’s leadership will head in the next four years.

How are you planning to vote? Let us know.

Most of the early voting sites open at 10 a.m.

About the Author:

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