`Gung Ho' in Presidential Elections 80% Voter Turnout Expected in Clay

Article excerpt

With voter turnout at the polls and absentee balloting combined,

more than 80 percent of Clay County's registered voters are

expected to participate in Tuesday's general election, said

Supervisor of Elections Dorothy Holt.

Clay County, she said, has a history of high turnouts,

particularly when a presidential election is involved.

"People are gung ho about the presidential election, at least

in Clay County," Holt said. "I think that attendance at the

polls alone is probably going to be 70 percent . . . maybe 75

percent."

Add absentee votes to that -- the elections office has given

out almost 6,000 -- and a voter participation rate of at least

80 percent is likely, she said.

"They are very good about turning out to vote," Holt said.

As of Oct. 17, the total of registered voters in the county was

72,135, with 40,329 of those Republican, 22,355 Democrat and

9,451 in other parties.

In the Sept. 3 primary, which involved Republican and

non-partisan races, overall turnout was 30.2 percent -- 42.4

percent of registered Republicans, 18 percent of registered

Democrats. Turnout of voters registered as non-partisan was 7.2

percent.

The Oct. 1 runoff, which involved only Republican candidates,

posted a turnout of 27 percent.

Holt reminded voters that in the general election -- unlike the

primaries -- they can vote for candidates of either party.

"Party affiliation is of no consequence," she said. "There is

one ballot for everybody . . . no matter how they are

registered. You can vote for whomever you choose."

Holt said voters can vote all or part of their ballots. And if

a voter makes a mistake, a new ballot can be obtained, as long

as the first ballot is turned in, she said.

Also, absentee voters who make a mistake can get a new ballot

as long as they have not sealed the initial ballot in its

envelope, she said.

For voters to study up ahead of time, the elections office has

mailed out sample ballots to Clay County households, Holt said.

Copies are also available in the elections office, which is on

the fourth floor of the County Administration Building in Green

Cove Springs, as well as in Orange Park Town Hall and county

libraries.

In addition to the presidential contest, six proposed

constitutional amendments and retentions of three Supreme Court

justices, Clay County voters participate in two congressional

races, two state House races, a state attorney race and two

countywide races. …