Fall 2021
Your quarterly news & updates from the Supervisor of Elections Office
From Supervisor Chambless

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts!"

Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Despite Florida being one of the easiest states to vote in, it also maintains some of the strictest controls making it difficult, if not nearly impossible, to cheat. The real threat to elections is misinformation, which sows distrust in the entire voting process.

The sad reality is misinformation allows a bad actor to convince people something has been compromised- without ever having touched a machine, or even a ballot. These kind of claims and "news" articles spread rapidly- even if you succeed in correcting one story, it's too late because it's traveled far beyond your reach. The false information erodes voter confidence in the integrity of our elections.

As the Supervisor of Elections of Clay County, I am constitutionally bound to uphold the laws governing elections at the federal and state level. I can assure you that the processes Clay County Elections Office have in place are numerous and thorough. My staff and I work hard to keep our elections safe, accurate, and transparent.

Florida voters can be completely confident in our state and county's ability to administer secure elections. We encourage them to get the facts from trusted sources like our website, ClayElections.gov for verified election information. Below is a statement from the Florida Supervisors of Elections (FSE), regarding election integrity, a message I fully support.

The Great American Experiment, our cherished democracy, is under threat. Our nation is only as strong as the faith our citizens have that their voice, their vote has a say in our government. In this hour, public trust in our elections is being systematically undermined, to the detriment of all Americans.

As election professionals, we have sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Our Constitution is built upon the idea that “we the people” choose our government. We put that idea into practice through elections. It is the foundation and core unifying principle of our democracy.

As the official trusted sources of election information and experts in our fields, we continuously strive to debunk false claims and ensure voters have access to accurate election information. We are dedicated to the cause of election integrity, ensuring that every eligible voter’s ballot is counted accurately and that no fraud takes place. But false claims of fraud do not strengthen our elections. Instead, they degrade confidence in the institutions and discourage citizen participation in our democracy.

During and after the 2020 Presidential Election, the integrity of our democracy has been challenged by misinformation, disinformation and malicious information that sows discord and undermines trust in America’s electoral process. Many of us have been threatened by our fellow citizens who have been led astray by these deceptions.

Instead of standing idly by, we ask all candidates and elected officials to tone down the rhetoric and stand up for our democracy. We ask that you work with us to understand the safeguards implemented to ensure elections are conducted fairly, securely and accurately.

In the Gettysburg Address, President Lincoln proclaimed that the American people must dedicate themselves to ensuring that “Government of the people, by the people, for the people must not perish from the Earth.” It is through elections that government by the people is accomplished.

To this end, we call on officials at all levels of government to commit themselves to the goal of fighting falsehoods and strengthening voter trust.

We can rise to this challenge.

Our democracy depends on it.

News & Updates
Redistricting Updates

Redistricting is the process of drawing local, state, and federal electoral district boundaries every ten years following the U.S. Census to account for changes in population during the previous decade.

Following the 2020 U.S. Census, Clay County counted an additional 27,000 people from 2010. Florida law requires County Commission boundaries to be redrawn in an odd-numbered year and that each district be as nearly equal in population as possible.

The Board of County Commissioners and the School Board have both passed bills selecting one map that aligns the districts. Pictured below, the proposed map should help simplify things for voters. The BCC proposal has passed, but the School Board has one more meeting where it will be up for public discussion. The deadline to finalize it is December 31, 2021.

As always, we'll keep voters informed of any changes that may impact them, but you can read more about the criteria used in the redistricting process on Clay County's website.
Election Information
Upcoming 2022 Election Dates

Municipal Super Tuesday- April 12, 2022
Last day to register to vote is March 14, 2022

Primary Election- August 23, 2022
Last day to register to vote is July 25, 2022

General Election- November 8, 2022
Last day to register to vote is October 11, 2022
Unsure if you're eligible to cast a ballot in the upcoming elections? Visit us
online to see!

Need to Register to Vote?
If you're new to Florida, or have never been registered to vote, now's the time!

Registering to vote only takes a few minutes, you can even do it online! Or pick up a paper registration form at any public library, Tax Collector's offices, or our office in Green Cove Springs.

We encourage all voters to check their status and make any changes or updates prior to voting.

Update Your Signature
Handwriting changes over time. If you have noticed a change in your handwriting, and particularly your signature, please update your signature with the Elections Office. It's important that we have your current signature on file because it's used to verify your Vote by Mail ballot and/or candidate and initiative petitions. If your signature has changed, you may update it at any time by submitting a new Voter Registration Application.

Signature updates can be made at any time, but must be received before Vote by Mail ballots are canvassed in order to be accepted for an election. (F.S. 98.077)

Practice Makes Perfect Labs
Our Election Worker Coordinator, Stacey Whitehead held Practice Makes Perfect labs and Orientation classes over the summer for both new and returning Election Workers.

Practice Makes Perfect labs give Election Workers the chance to refresh themselves on procedures and to learn more about the equipment.

As we head into 2022, Stacey will have more opportunities for Election Workers to participate in these labs! Keep an eye out for more information on the dates in the upcoming months. Or, if you've ever thought about becoming an Election Worker, here's your chance! Please visit our website to learn more
SAFE Animal Shelter Donation
In August, we learned of the passing of one of our longtime Election Workers, Melissa Church. Melissa was a devoted Election Worker, Train the Trainer, volunteer, and friend of our office. She proudly served the citizens of Clay County for over two decades.

Melissa's passion for helping her community, both humans and animals, inspired our office to collect donations for SAFE Animal Shelter. SAFE is a nonprofit organization and no-kill shelter that provides housing for pets in the community until they find their forever home.

Pictured here is Supervisor Chambless, Kemie Mahan and Holly DePaul dropping off the donations of cat and dog food, litter, blankets, toys, and cleaning products to SAFE in Melissa's honor.

High School Registration Drives

Our Outreach Team spent two weeks visiting every public Clay County high school to conduct in-person registration drives. Clay County School District's Social Studies Specialist, Kelly Watt, helped to coordinate these visits with the curriculum covering voting rights and the U.S. Constitution, and ending on National Voter Registration Day.

In total we visited 8 schools and St. Johns Classical Academy participated in a virtual registration drive. Over 430 students either registered or pre-registered to vote!

A big thank you to each school's staff and students for having us, and to our awesome volunteers, Lou and Sue Miranda and Jerry Lightner, and SOE staff who helped answer questions and get students registered to vote!
I Voted Sticker Contest

The "I Voted" sticker has become an icon of modern day voting. It serves as a symbol for those who've done their civic duty- and encouragement for others to do the same.

To increase a sense of community among both current voters and the next generation, the Clay County Elections office will be hosting an "I Voted" sticker design contest for the upcoming 2022 Election Season.

This contest is open to all Clay County students in grades 9-12. Students are asked to create an original piece of art representing the themes of Clay County, elections, and democracy. The winner will receive a grand prize, and the piece will be used to create a unique "I Voted" sticker for both the Primary and General Elections.

Find more details on how to enter, templates, and prizes, on our website.
Orange Park Fall Festival
On October 16 and 17, the Town of Orange Park held its 39th annual Fall Festival. Each day was packed full of entertainment, arts and crafts from local vendors, and delicious food trucks!

The SOE Office had a booth and was able to help folks register to vote and update their information. We spoke to voters, answered their questions, and passed out election information!

This event is always one we look forward to, and we love any opportunity to meet our voters. Thanks to Lou and Sue Miranda for volunteering! We look forward to the next time!
National Voter Registration Day
First observed in 2012, National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) is a nonpartisan civic holiday celebrating our democracy. By joining together volunteers and organization in a single day of coordinated messaging, NVRD helps create awareness of voter registration opportunities.

This year, we teamed up with the high schools and other community partners to share voter registration information across the county.

If you need to register to vote, or just need to make an update, it's easier than ever! Visit the link below and #BeElectionReady in just a few minutes!

Farm-City Luncheon
Just before Thanksgiving, members of our office attended the 49th Annual Farm-City Luncheon that celebrates farmers and ranchers, packers and shippers, scientists, truckers, retailers and more, all of whom play a vital role in the supply chain that helps bring healthy food to our tables every day.

Supervisor Chambless delivered the invocation before we enjoyed a great meal and fellowship with many of our peers across Clay County.

Especially at this time of year, when so many Americans are gathering with family and friends, it's important to reflect on our many blessings because of these collaborative partnerships.
Around the Office
Safety Training
Earlier this month, our entire office participated in safety training! A huge thank you to Captain Billy Futch and Richard Knoff of the Clay County Fire Department for giving us fire extinguisher training, CPR and AED instruction.

Though the material was serious, both of our instructors were engaging and we had a great time. We learned so much, and feel much more prepared for any emergency situation. Putting out real fire was pretty cool too!

We're so proud to be a part of this awesome county and to have a chance to get to know some of our First Responders a little better!
Voter Services
As we approach the end of the year, we're starting to shift into election mode as candidates begin to file for 2022. We're also beginning to see petitions roll in. So far, we've processed over 9,000 this year. To verify the identity, we compare the signature on the petition to the one we have in the voter's record.

We've been receiving reports from Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC). ERIC is a multi-state, non-profit organization whose mission is to improving the accuracy of voter roles and increase access to voter registration for all eligible citizens. ERIC analyzes data from participating states, simultaneously and intelligently comparing records from sources like the United States Postal Service, DMV, voter registration, and Social Security Administration. The old state is notified if a voter has moved and is able to reach out to confirm the move, while the new state can contact the voter to register to vote there. You can watch the video below to learn more about how ERIC works.

Off years are often a time for our staff to review procedures and discuss updates that may be needed or research new vendors and software, revisit procedures, and prepare for 2022. Changing technology, increasing participation, security concerns, and a variety of other factors have impacted every part of how elections are administered, so we also use this time for training and recertification. Preparation is key in our success during elections.
Election Services
Non election years may not have the deadlines and stress of an election year, but it doesn't mean we aren't busy busy busy!

Off years are when we start to tackle all our projects- big and small. We revamp literature, research new vendors, take training courses, update and test equipment, and prepare for the next election!

Marti and Phyllis created new diagrams of each precinct. These to-scale drawings will help precinct setup go even smoother since they require zero guessing as to where equipment and signage needs to go. This will be especially helpful for new Election Workers and to those who are working in a new precinct.

Anthony has been working on GIS to help ensure address accuracy throughout our county. The next thing will be inputting the data from redistricting once the BCC and School Board have everything finalized.

Stacey was holding Practice Make Perfect labs, but as we approach the holidays, she's updating manuals and presentations for our Election Workers, including supplemental training. Our PMP labs will start back up in January, so keep an eye out for those dates if you're interested!

Even if the office is a little slower, it doesn't mean we aren't focusing on next year. We'll see the impact from redistricting, legislative changes, and county growth. We're ready for another exciting and successful election season!
Happy Anniversary

Lynn............13 years*
Kemie..........5 years*

*Denotes full-time employment