Summer 2020
Your quarterly news & updates from the Supervisor of Elections Office.
From Supervisor Chambless

"Every election is determined by the people who show up."
Larry J. Sabato

At the Elections Office we pride ourselves on being proactive and adaptable. You have to be, considering how quickly things can change! We refine our processes, brainstorm new ideas, update equipment, and listen to feedback. It takes a collaborative effort to execute a successful election- and it begins long before Election Day. Heading into 2020, we knew this Election Season would be one for the books, but we could've never predicted a global pandemic.

We track multiple factors from weather to sports events, to road closings and new traffic patterns, to predict the expected turnout. While COVID-19 has presented new challenges, being prepared means we're able to adjust to social distancing, implement CDC guidelines, and source PPE materials to keep staff and voters healthy. The recipe for a successful election is two parts proactiveness + three parts preparation + a pinch of patience! 

We encourage voters to take advantage of Voting by Mail or Early Voting. Just before the election, there were a number of stories concerning delivery issues within the United States Postal Service. While I’ll be the first in line to hold myself, and others, accountable for the handling of our ballots, I’ll also be the first to give people accolades. The postmasters from Green Cove Springs, Keystone Heights, and Jacksonville BMU, hand-delivered late-afternoon mail to our office prior to 7 PM, including some pieces mailed on Election Day.

One thing is certain, Clay County votes- even during a pandemic. The 2020 Primary Voter Turnout was 32.90%.2 Even with all the hurdles that COVID-19 presents, and record turnout, the Primary Election was a success! Thanks to our Election Workers, volunteers, supporters, and staff for all their hard work, preparation, and dedication. It takes incredible teamwork to be able to hold a successful election, and we couldn't do it without you!

We do all we can to ensure every eligible voter is able to vote but, the truth is, it’s a team effort and we need your help. As the Superbowl of Elections approaches, take a few moments to assess whether you are election ready. Are you registered to vote? Have you moved? Has your signature changed? The Elections Office is ready to #PROTECT2020, are you?

See you in November!
News & Updates
Social Distancing? Find us online.
We'd like to remind voters that the majority of our services are able to be completed online. You can register to vote, request a Vote by Mail ballot, update your voter information, find election dates, and more, all from the comfort of home!

Check out today!
Signature Update Reminder
Your signature is used to verify your identity on petitions and Vote by Mail ballots. Yes, we look at each and every signature! With more people choosing to Vote by Mail, we want to take a moment to remind you of the importance of updating your signature.

There are many factors that may affect your signature- age, illness, or injury just to name a few. Prepare and #PROTECT2020 by updating your signature today!

Election Information
Primary Election
COVID-19 hit Florida in March, just in time for the Presidential Preference Primary. Suddenly, things like hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, and cleaning supplies were impossible to find. We lost about 20% of our Election Workers, fielded calls from concerned voters, and saw a surge in requests for Vote by Mail ballots.

Leading up to the Primary, everyone wondered what impact COVID-19 would have on the Election. While we did have to find creative ways to source things like masks and hand sanitizer and focus on Election Worker recruitment, we processed nearly 18,000 Vote by Mail ballots. We also saw record numbers of voters during Early Voting and Election Day!

Despite the challenges, we had record turnout and the Primary was a success! Keep reading to find out more about the upcoming General Election.
General Election

Read on to learn more about the 3 Ways to Vote in the upcoming
General Election
November 3, 2020

COVID-19 and Your Vote
Coronavirus has affected the way that many industries conduct business, now and possibly forever. As for elections, we continue to serve voters online, over the phone, and in person. We've found creative solutions to source materials- like Black Creek Distillery, who is now making hand sanitizer. Our Election Worker procedures not only cover equipment and policies, but now include sanitizing and social distancing guidelines.

For voters trying to avoid the crowds, we offer the option to Vote by Mail or Vote Early. Both have grown in popularity over the years, thanks to their convenience and flexibility, but COVID-19 also gave them a boost this year.
One thing's for sure, elections will continue to happen, despite the obstacles. We realize the importance of planning what you can, preparing for the unknown, and sticking together to #PROTECT2020.
Vote by Mail
Voting by Mail has become a popular option, not only because of convenience, but because it gives voters time to research the ballot ahead of the election. Now, with COVID-19, its popularity is soaring. For the Primary Election, we processed 17,773 mail ballots, over 7,400 more than in the 2018 and 2016 Primaries!

A Vote by Mail ballot is the best insurance policy during this time of uncertainty. If there's any reason you're not able to vote in person, then you have an alternative method. Ordering a mail ballot doesn't mean you have to vote it. If you prefer, you can still vote at the polls, just surrender your mail ballot there.

The deadline to request a Vote by Mail ballot for the General Election is October 24.

Click here to request one today.
Early Voting
October 19- October 31
7 AM through 7 PM

During the Primary, we saw record-breaking turnout nearly every day of Early Voting! 25.88% of votes were cast early and its popularity continues to grow.

The majority of the vote happens prior to Election Day. Early Voting offers those who prefer to vote in person more flexibility. Unlike Election Day, during Early Voting you can vote at any of our seven locations. This includes the newest Early Voting site- Thrasher-Horne Conference Center!

Click here to see all of our Early Vote locations.
Election Day Reminders
Election Day is November 3, 2020
Polls are open from 7 AM till 7 PM

Despite the flexibility that Vote by Mail and Early Voting offer, there are still many voters who prefer to go on Election Day. In fact, 20,812 voters cast ballots on Election Day, making it our most popular option for the Primary!

We're practicing social distancing, encouraging masks, and implementing CDC guidelines during Early Voting and at the precincts. These things, combined with high volume, may create longer lines when voting in person.
When voting on Election Day, you MUST vote in your assigned precinct. Not sure where that is?

Click here to find where you vote
We Need YOU!
The Primary is over, and it's on to the General!

Have you ever been curious about elections?
Are you looking for a way to serve your community? Consider becoming an Election Worker! Help your neighbors- and earn money while doing it!

Election Workers are the backbone of the democratic process. We owe much of our success to their hard work and dedication.

Visit and find out more information!

Outreach Events
100 Years of Women Voting
The 2020 Primary Election fell exactly 100 years to the day that women won the right to vote- August 18, 1920! The battle to get there was long-fought, it took over 70 years from the beginning to its ratification.

The women’s rights movement began in 1848 with the Seneca Falls Convention. Elizabeth Cady Stanton stood before a crowd of 300 and read her “Declaration of Sentiments."

She’d based her writing on the Declaration of Independence, comparing the struggles of the Founding Fathers against the king, with those of the women’s movement. It called for social and legal changes and demanded equality for women in family, politics, education, and employment.

It would take another 30 years for a formal suffrage amendment to be proposed to Congress. Nicknamed the Anthony Amendment, after Susan B. Anthony, it read:

“The rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

The bill was rejected, but would be reintroduced every year, for the next 41 years. Its exact wording was never changed.
In 1919, it was gathering steam, endorsed by President Wilson, it passed in both the House and Senate, and then went to the states to be ratified.

By summer 1920, 35 states had voted YES- only one more was needed for ratification. Tennessee's turn was up. As the debate intensified, pro- and anti-suffrage activists flooded Nashville, desperate to see if the 19th Amendment would pass. 

On August 18, 1920 a young representative named Harry Burn voted "AYE." He'd been firmly opposed, until his mother wrote him a note, urging him to "be a good boy" and vote for suffrage.

With one word, the 70-year battle was over. Women had won the right to vote!
National Voter Registration Day

September 22, 2020
Celebrated on the fourth Tuesday of September, National Voter Registration Day is a nonpartisan civic holiday. First observed in 2012, it has quickly gained momentum. Nearly 3 million voters have registered to vote on the holiday to date. 

Registration is the first step to participation! If you're a new resident of Florida, newly 18 (you can also preregister if your 16- or 17-years-old), or have never registered before, celebrate National Voter Registration Day with us! Visit the link below to register, or to make updates to your existing voter record!

19th Amendment Essay Contest
Attention all 10th, 11th, and 12th graders, and their teachers:

As residents of the federal court system’s Middle District, our local high school students are eligible to take part in an essay contest. The subject of the essay contest centers around the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

The deadline to submit essays is noon on September 25, 2020.

Grand prize is $2,000 with multiple additional awards for $1,000, $500 and $50 each.
One teacher affiliated with each of the first, second and third place winners, also wins $500 each for classroom use.

Around the Office
Happy Birthday!

Chris.............. 7/05
Lisa................ 8/23
Happy Anniversary!

Jim............. 7/16
Lynn........... 7/02*
Kemie......... 9/07*

*Denotes full time employment
Meet Our Team
Magy began working in the Elections Office just before the Presidential Primary and has quickly become an awesome part of our team.

Magy, the mom of two boys, can usually be found at the baseball field. She always lends a hand- or her sons, like on Election Day, when they volunteered at the office!

Magy is bilingual and along with her regular office duties, also helps translate and proofread documents. She offers support to our Spanish-speaking voters both at our counter and over the phone.
Jill joined our team at the same time as Magy. Jill quickly jumped in with both feet! Whether it's processing applications, helping at the counter, organizing, or another project, Jill's always up for the task.

Jill's bubbly personality is contagious! She offers a warm and friendly presence to our voters at the front counter and over the phone.

As the mom of three, plus a new puppy, Jill is always on the go! Though she's busy, she's always game for any challenge and we're so glad to have her as part of our front office team.