Vote 2023: The first day of early voting in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The first day of early voting has ended. And, the main event in this election is Jacksonville’s new mayor. In two weeks, we will get the answer on whether it will be Democrat Donna Deegan or Republican Daniel Davis.

The main reason people are voting early is because they say it’s our responsibility and right. But, the turnout on day one has been so-so. The San Marco library, one of 19 early voting sites, had just two voters. Citywide, with mail-in ballots, turnout is about 5-6% as of May 1.

That’s a long way to go to get to 37% expected turnout.

The Highlands Branch Library on Dunn Avenue in North Jacksonville was steady, but not busy on the first day of early voting. It’s where Kelvin Williams told us why it’s important.

Read about the candidates: News4Jax Voter’s Guide

“It’s very important, because this vote, people died for it,” Williams said. “And it’s responsible for you to get off your butt and vote.” When asked if he was surprised that there is not a huge voter turnout so far, Williams said, “Well, today’s the first day and I think it’s gonna pick up.”

Supervisor of Elections, Mike Hogan, is hoping for that as well. With a 37% prediction for voter turnout, it’s going to take work on both candidates to get the voters voting and excited.

Something Bucky Buchanan hopes happens soon, “It’s sad when you only have a few dictating for the majority.”

At the Regency Branch Library, a site that has drawn a mix of Republicans and Democrats, Carol and Terry Hummel talked to News4JAX about their thoughts on the issues in the mayor’s race.

“Lies, Lies, I don’t believe in dirty politics. It’s people take a look at one part of the story and forget about the other part,” Hummel said.

Early voting sites are closed for the day and most reopen tomorrow at 10 a.m. They will be open everyday with the last day of early voting being Sunday, May 14. Election Day is May 16.

About the Author:

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