What you need to know about Jacksonville’s Election Day

A photo of the façade of the Jacksonville City Hall.
Jacksonville City Hall. [Reagan Creamer / The Tributary]

Today is Election Day in Jacksonville. That means voters will cast ballots in the city’s races for mayor, property appraiser and 15 of the 19 City Council seats.

Every registered Duval County voter can participate, regardless of party. If a candidate doesn’t win a majority of the vote in any race, then there will be a runoff on May 16.

Jacksonville is the 12th most populous city and the largest city with a Republican mayor, and the mayor in Jacksonville’s consolidated system of government has more power than in most city governments. This intensifies the interest in tonight’s results.

But the 19-member Jacksonville City Council is also up for election, with multiple candidates contesting 15 of those races. For the last two weeks, the Tributary has posted previews of 10 council elections.

The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today. If you’re in line at 7 p.m., you can still vote as long as you stay in line. You must vote at your home precinct, which you can find at DuvalElections.com by clicking on My Voter Status.

Jacksonville City Council Election Previews

Jacksonville City Council District 1: Ken Amaro, Alton McGriff make case to voters

Jacksonville City Council District 2: Lindsey Brock, Mike Gay, Jennifer Casey compete in all-Republican race

Jacksonville City Council District 3: Natalie Alden, Will Lahnen push to represent growing neighborhoods

Jacksonville City Council District 6: Michael Boylan, Tom Harris battle for Mandarin votes

Jacksonville City Council District 8: Reggie Gaffney Jr. gets 4 challengers

Jacksonville City Council District 9: Five vie to beat Tyrona Clark-Murray

Jacksonville City Council District 10: Candidates say Northside deserves better

Jacksonville City Council District 11: Raul Arias, Norman Brewer, Ramon Day face off to represent Baymeadows area

Jacksonville City Council District 14: John Draper, Alberta Hipps, Rahman Johnson return to ’90s politics

Jacksonville City Council At-Large Group 2: Ron Salem, Joshua Hicks compete in close partisan race

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I vote?

You must vote at your assigned precinct. You can find that by entering your personal info at the Duval Supervisor of Elections Office’s website, clicking on the My Voter Status page.

What is LPF and NPA?

While most candidates are Democrats or Republicans on the ballot, three City Council candidates this year, including two countywide City Council candidates, have the marking “LPF” next to them. That stands for the Libertarian Party of Florida. Those three candidates are Ronald Tracy Robison Jr. in District 8, Eric Parker in At-Large Group 1 and Jerry “Tub” Rorabaugh in At-Large Group 5.

Three candidates have the marking “NPA” next to them. That stands for No Party Affiliate, indicating the person is independent of any political party. Omega Allen, who is running for mayor; Jack Meeks, running for City Council At-Large Group 5; and Parrish King, running for City Council District 7, are all running without a party.

What happens after tonight?

Candidates who win an outright majority of the vote will win the election and take office (or retain the office if they’re already incumbents) on July 1.

If no one gets more than 50% of the vote, then a runoff election will occur on May 16 between the top two candidates.

Do I have to vote for candidates of my political party?

No. Jacksonville has a unitary election system. That means every candidate, regardless of party, runs on the same ballot. This contrasts with the state and federal elections, where voters first cast ballots in a party primary and then in a general election.

How do I write in a candidate?

For three races, the mayoral race, City Council District 10 on the Northside and City Council District 13 at the Beaches, voters have the option of writing in a candidate’s name.

Those votes will only be counted if the ballots actually contain the names of candidates who qualified as write-in candidates.

For mayor, Brian Griffin qualified as a write-in candidate. For Council District 10, Brian M. Hicks qualified. For District 13, Mike Finn qualified.

Mickey Mouse, Tim Tebow and Trevor Lawrence did not qualify, and even if most voters write in their names, they won’t be able to take office.

How can I find out the results?

The Duval County Supervisor of Elections will be posting unofficial results tonight starting soon after 7 p.m. on its website.

The Tributary will begin calling races for winners at JaxTrib.org and live on TV with First Coast News, our news partners.

How do you know when to call a race?

We look at turnout by City Council district, determine what would make a bare majority of that district, and once a candidate reaches that threshold, we know it’s impossible for anyone to beat them.

Why does it seem like sometimes you call races even before all the precincts are counted?

On the supervisor’s website, it tells you when a precinct has fully reported all of its Election Day votes. In recent years, an increasing number of votes have been cast before Election Day. Usually, a majority of the ballots cast were done by in-person early voting or by mail, and those ballots get counted ahead of time, which makes it quicker to get results.

That means we’ll likely have most of the ballots already counted even before a single precinct has fully reported its Election Day votes, and we might be able to call some decisive races.

What if I have other questions, or what if I just like writing long-winded emails?

We love questions, and we love long-winded emails (sometimes). You can email us at info@jaxtrib.org, and we’ll do our best to answer as soon as we can.

If you have an urgent election-related concern or tip, email [email protected].

This story was originally published by The Tributary

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