Early Voting Is On for the Primary. Go Vote.
FlaglerLive | August 5, 2012
Flagler County candidates would like you to go vote. Even today, Sunday. They’re very lonely. A dozen or more of them were mulling about at the Flagler County Public Library voting location early this afternoon–one of two early voting locations open this weekend–praying that the church crowd that was letting out would send them a bit of a rush.
But so far today, there’s been almost more candidates and their supporters than actual voters. A poll worker guessed at about half past noon that there’d been about 80 votes cast all day. For a primary election in a major election year, with more than 40 candidates on the ballot, that’s dismal.
On the other hand, it’s also a reflection of the Florida Legislature’s attempt to reduce early voting days and, by one of many means, make voting less convenient: The legislature reduced early voting days by almost a third, excusing itself by saying that it was making voting more inviting by making it available on Sundays.That’s not been the experience of candidates at Flagler’s two early voting locations. Alan Peterson and Charlie Ericksen, the only two candidates facing each other in a county commission race, were so bored that they were hanging out with each other. A volunteer for incumbent Clerk of Court Gail Wadsworth (who’s facing Ken Mazzie) read a murder mystery novel under a spitting rain. A candidate for county judge played with a miniature dog.
There were no voters. The library, usually a good magnet for foot traffic, was closed, though a carpet cleaning company was there this morning, its engines making a sucking noises.
Here’s the early voting schedule for the next few days, at both the public library on Belle Terre Parkway and at the Supervisor of Elections Office, in back of the Government Services Building in Bunnell:
Sunday, Aug. 5: 10 a.m to 4 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 6: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 7: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 8: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 9: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 10: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 11: 10 a.m to 4 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 12: Closed.
Election Day is on Tuesday, Aug. 14. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Locations have changed for many voters, who would have received by now their voter registration card listing their precinct location. The table below indicates changes. Below that is a sample ballot with all the races on the primary ballot.
Keep in mind: all voters, regardless of party affiliation, have several races they can (they should) vote in.
If You’re a Registered Independent: The races open to all registered voters, including Republicans, Democrats and Independents, are the State Attorney’s race, the Flagler County Judge race, and two Flagler County School Board races. You may cast a ballot in those races regardless of your address, as long as you’re registered in Flagler County. You may also vote in the School Board Referendum, asking voters to renew the half-cent sales tax that’s been on the books for the past 10 years, helping to finance construction and repairs, and technology in schools.
If You’re a Registered Republican: You get to vote in all the races that Independents can vote in, plus the following: The Republican primary for U.S. Senator (six candidates), the Republican primary for the newly formed U.S. Congressional District 6 Seat, which includes all of Flagler County (seven candidates), the Clerk of Court race, the Republican primary for Flagler County Sheriff (three candidates), the Republican primary for supervisor of elections (four candidates), and two county commission races. There are also several internal Republican Party contests, but those aren’t for public offices.
If you’re a registered Democrat: Count your blessings that you still have a few Democrats running in this county. You get to vote in all the races and the school board referendum Independent voters may vote in, plus the following: the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, with one Democrat challenging incumbent Bill Nelson, the Democratic race for the congressional district seat (two candidates), the Democratic race for the newly formed Florida House seat that includes all of Flagler County (Doug Courtney and Milissa Holland are battling for that one), and the Democratic primary for sheriff (two candidates).
See below for the full ballot.
The county commission race pitting Ericksen and Petersen, and the clerk of court race pitting Wadsworth and Mazzie, should have been open to all registered voters as well, each race p[its a pair of Republicans against each other, and the winner of that race will be the actual winner overall. But in each race, the Ronald Reagan Republican Assemblies of Florida fielded a write-in--who has no capability or intention of winning, and whose sole purpose was to close the contest to Democrats and Independents, essentially disenfranchising 40,000 voters and ensuring that the two races are decided by a more polarized, exclusively Republican electorate.
The fraud is enabled by a loophole-actually, a silence--in law that has been used to circumvent a constitutional amendment Florida voters approved in 1998 to prevent that sort of scheming. The Florida Legislature has yet to close the loophole, which has been used by candidates of both parties elsewhere in the state, though is being used in Flagler County for the first time this year. Ostensibly, the winner of these two races will again appear on the ballot in November, but only their one name will appear in each race, pitted against an empty line for the write-in candidate (whose name will not appear on the ballot).
Keep in mind: the most accurate way for you to find out where you vote is to go to this link at the supervisor's office, enter your address in the box provided, and denote your precinct number and address. The table below, filled in with information the supervisor of elections provided the county commission in late spring, gives a general overview of this year's precinct changes. Do not rely on it exclusively to know where you are voting.
Precincts and Locations, Old and New
|If you were voting at this location...||... you'll now be voting at this location.|
|Haw Creek Community Center (Precinct 3)||Some voters will go to Bunnell City Hall (Precinct 1), some to St. Johns Park and some to St. Mary's Catholic Church. (New precinct 5)|
|Espanola Community Center (Precinct 5) and Haw Creek Community Center (Precinct 3)||Bunnell City Hall (Precinct 1)|
|Rima Ridge Fire Station (Precinct 18)||St. Mary's Catholic Church, Bunnell (new Precinct 5)|
|Palm Coast Yacht Club (Precinct 8)||VFW Post 8696 at 47 North Old Kings Road (new Precinct 23)|
|First AME Church of Palm Coast (Precinct 21)||VFW Post 8696 at 47 North Old Kings Road (new Precinct 23)|
|Hancock Bank (Precinct 23, if you're west of Florida Avenue)||VFW Post 8696 at 47 North Old Kings Road (new Precinct 23)|
|Hancock Bank (Precinct 23, if you're east of Florida Park Drive)||Palm Coast Community Center (new precinct 27)|
|Portuguese American Cultural Center (Precinct 34)||VFW Post 8696 at 47 North Old Kings Road (new Precinct 23)|
|Hammock Community Center (Precinct 10)||Adult Education Building on S.R. A1A, 5633 North Ocean Shore Blvd. (new Precinct 29)|
|Hammock First Baptist Church (Precinct 27)||Adult Education Building on S.R. A1A, 5633 North Ocean Shore Blvd. (new Precinct 29)|
|Beverly Beach's Surfside Estates (Precinct 11)||Flagler Beach City Hall (new Precinct 33)|
|Flagler Beach Fire Station (Precinct 20, if you're west of the Intracoastal)||Old Kings Elementary (new precinct 37)|
|Flagler Beach Fire Station (Precinct 20, if you're east of the Intracoastal)||Flagler Beach City Hall (new Precinct 33) or Old Kings|
|Belle Terre Swim and Racuet Club (Precinct 16, if you're on the west side of Belle Terre Parkway)||Shepherd of the Coast Lutheran Church (Precinct 22)|
|St. Thomas Episcopal Church (old Precinct 19)||Flagler County Public Library on Belle Terre (new Precinct 19)|
|Precinct 32 north of Highway 100 and east of I-95||Old Kings Elementary (new precinct 37)|
|Precinct 7, neighborhood of Arrowhead Drive||Old Kings Elementary (new precinct 37)|
|African American Cultural Society (Precinct 28)||Christ the King Lutheran Church, 5625 U.S. 1 in Palm Coast (new Precinct 13)|
|Flagler County School Building on SR100 (Precinct 32)||First Baptist Church of Bunnell on Commerce Parkway (new Precinct 9)|
|Grand Reserve Development (Precinct 1)||First Baptist Church of Bunnell on Commerce Parkway (new Precinct 9)|
|Central Baptist Church (Precinct 35)||Flagler County School Building on SR100 (new Precinct 10)|