Q: What is the most important thing you want to tell readers about the upcoming Presidential Preference Primary?
A: This year there is a big change for St. Johns County voters due to a law change in 2019: for those who Vote By Mail, the only choices to return a ballot are to mail the ballot back or drop it off at an Early Voting site. The Vote by Mail drop boxes will only be available inside Early Voting locations from March 7 – March 14, while the locations are open for early voting. There is also a 24-hour drop box in front of the Elections Office for voters’ convenience. The big change is that drop boxes will no longer be available at all public libraries, Tax Collectors Office in Julington Creek and Ponte Vedra or St. Augustine Beach City Hall. Remember that in order to be counted, Vote By Mail ballots must be returned to the Elections Office by Election Day at 7 p.m., so if you are mailing the ballots back, be sure to mail them several days in advance of Election Day.

Q: When will sample ballots be available?
A: Sample ballots have been mailed to all eligible voters, who should receive them approximately March 1. If you don’t receive one, either you are not eligible to vote (perhaps you are registered with a minor party or with no party affiliation; only registered Democrats and Republicans can vote in this primary) or we don’t have your correct address. Go to our website, www.votesjc.com, and click on “My Voter Status” to check your information for accuracy. Be sure to make any updates prior to voting either at an Early Voting location or on Election Day. Sample ballots are also available on our website.

Q: Where are the Early Voting locations and what are the hours?
A:Early Voting for the Presidential Preference Primary will be held March 7 – March 14 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily. The three most convenient locations for northern St. Johns County residents are the Julington Creek Annex, the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library and the Supervisor of Elections Office in St. Augustine. You can vote at any of these locations if you vote early, but on Election Day, you must vote at your assigned precinct. Polls will be open on Election Day, March 17, from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Q: What is the best way for our readers to contact you?
A: Readers can email me at voakes@votesjc.com or call me at (904) 823-2238. Our website, www.votesjc.com also has a wealth of information to prepare for Election Day.

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