Q: As of the date of this interview, Aug. 19, Primary Election Day was yesterday. Can you give us some updates on how the day went?
A: First I’d like to say kudos and thank you to our poll workers, and I think our voters should know that elections would not take place without these volunteers. I hope they will extend their thanks to the poll workers as well.

We saw an overall voter turnout of about 29 percent, which is about the same as the 2018 primary — but we saw a lot more Vote by Mail, likely specifically a result of COVID concerns. We mailed out about 50,000 Vote by Mail ballots and had 25,745 returned. This return rate of approximately 50 percent is typical for a primary. 

Our website has a voter turnout report that shows in real time, on a daily basis, the status of all forms of voting: Vote by Mail, Early Voting, and Election Day. Visit www.votesjc.com/voter-turnout to check out more statistical information about the most recent election.

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Q: What is the result of the primary election races?
A: We had several races that were decided in the Primary Election: School Board District 2, 7th Judicial Circuit Public Defender, and two of the judicial races. Still to be decided in the November election are: Congressional District 4, St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners District 1, Sheriff and one judicial race. These will of course be in addition to many other races that will appear on the General Election ballot. 

Q: What is the next step?
A: We will certify our Primary Election results on Aug. 25 and then we will move full speed ahead to the November General Election. We have to start the ballot layouts so Vote by Mail ballots can be mailed and there is another round of poll worker classes scheduled.

Q: Looking ahead, what are some of the important dates for the upcoming General Election?

A: First and foremost, the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 3 General Election is Oct. 5. Other important dates include: overseas and military Vote by Mail ballots will be mailed to voters who requested one on Sept. 19; domestic Vote by Mail ballots will be mailed to voters who requested one on Sept. 24; Early Voting Dates will be Oct. 19 – 31; and the last day to request a Vote by Mail ballot is Oct. 24 by 5 p.m.

Q: Where are the Early Voting sites and what can you tell us about the Nov. 3 ballot?
A: The Early Voting sites will be announced in mid to late September. Voters will receive a sample ballot for the Nov. 3 General Election prior to the election as always. I recommend that each voter takes the time to review it as it is quite lengthy, with a lot of races as well as six Constitutional Amendments to be voted on. 

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.

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