Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tuesday Turnout: It'll Be Big

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tuesday Turnout: It'll Be Big

Article excerpt

At least half of Clay County's registered voters are expected to

vote in the primary election Tuesday, said Supervisor of

Elections Dorothy Holt.

Holt predicted 50 to 55 percent of the county's 69,014

registered voters will participate in the primaries, which will

decide a passel of local races and help decide some regional

judicial and legislative contests.

Four years ago, the last primary of a similar size, the turnout

was 56.6 percent, she said. Historically, Clay County voters

tend to exercise their rights at the ballot box, Holt said.

"They do, even more so at the national level," she said.

She predicted a whopping 84 percent of Clay's registered voters

will participate in the Nov. 5 general election. That's because

some registered voters who ignore the kind of local races that

fill primary ballots are dedicated participants in presidential

elections, she said.

"We will see people who we haven't seen [vote] for anything

else," Holt said.

In 1988, about 84 percent of the county's registered voters

cast ballots; in 1992, 87 percent came out, largely because of

the addition to the race of Reform Party candidate Ross Perot,

she said.

"People who would not have voted came out for Perot. People who

had not even been registered before," she said. "People who

could care less about politics . . . got very enthused."

Joan Carver, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and

professor of political science at Jacksonville University, said

Clay County's predicted 1996 turnout is "not bad."

"Clay County probably has a better turnout than some other

areas because it is more affluent, has a higher educational

level," she said. Higher voter turnout tends to go hand in hand

with higher income and educational levels, she said.

Local voters are also not shy about exercising their right to

free speech -- by complaining to the elections office about the

proliferation of campaign signs, Holt said.

Some people complain that signs have been placed on private

property without the owner's permission. …

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