Jacksonville early vote crosses 25,000 ballots cast

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Early voting extends through March 19. The First Election is March 21.

As of the second day of early voting in Jacksonville, more than 25,000 ballots have now been cast.

Jacksonville’s municipal election cycle is underway, with early voting running through March 19, ahead of the First Election on Tuesday, March 21.

As of 11:40 a.m., 25,015 people had voted, representing 3.85% turnout. Given that vote-by-mail started weeks ago, it’s unsurprising that more than 80% of the ballots cast were absentee. Mail votes encompassed 20,387 of the total, with 3,803 in-person early votes cast thus far.

Democrats have the advantage over Republicans and no-party voters thus far, unsurprising given the party’s registration advantage in the city and the reality that Election Day voting is dominated by the GOP.

Overall, 11,432 Democrats have voted, good for 47.25% of the total. Another 9,626 Republicans have voted, making up 39.79% of the vote, while 2,835 no-party voters and 302 voters registered to other parties have also cast ballots.

Early voting in person sees Republicans with more parity in the early going, as 1,895 GOP voters have cast ballots, slightly below the 2,046 Democrats who have done the same.

While most City Council seats are contested, with three at large citywide contests, the real action is in the races for Mayor and Property Appraiser, contests that look likely to go to May runoffs.

The latest survey from the University of North Florida (UNF) Public Opinion Research Lab shows that while Democrat Donna Deegan is on track to be the leading candidate March 21, she will fall short of the majority share needed to win outright.

Deegan was the choice of 37% of those polled, with Republican Daniel Davis in second place with 20%. No other candidate was in double digits.

Republican City Council member Al Ferraro drew 8% support, Democrat Audrey Gibson pulled 7%, and Republican City Council member LeAnna Gutierrez Cumber drew just 5% backing. No-party candidate Omega Allen and Republican Frank Keasler each drew 1% support, while 22% of respondents were still undecided.

In the race for Duval County Property Appraiser, Democrat Joyce Morgan holds a strong lead in the UNF survey, commanding 43% support against two Republican candidates. If she is able to get above 50% support, she can win the election outright in the First Election on March 21 and avoid a May runoff election.

If these results hold, they represent a sea change in the Property Appraiser Office. In 2019, Republican Jerry Holland creamed Kurt Kraft, getting 66% of the vote in March.

Morgan, a former television reporter, was first elected to the Jacksonville City Council in 2015 and re-elected four years later. She is up against two Republicans, City Council colleague Danny Becton and former Rep. Jason Fischer, neither of whom have traction. Fischer has 16% support despite an endorsement from Gov. Ron DeSantis, while Becton has 13%.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


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