The primary, voter safety, and precinct moves

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Vicki Cannon / Supervisor of Elections, Nassau County

We are nearing the Aug. 18 primary election day with early voting that began Monday, Aug. 3. My colleagues have gone above and beyond the call of duty to prepare for the upcoming elections. I am deeply grateful for the commitment they have to the citizens of Nassau County and our nation! Likewise, although many of our election workers are not able to work during the pandemic and we support their decisions wholeheartedly, we are also deeply grateful for the election workers and county employees who have committed to working during early voting and on Election Day.

By now, all registered voters in Nassau County should have received a new Voter Information Card and a Sample Ballot in the mail. It is important to make sure the voter information in the official mailings from our office are accurate and, if not, contact our office as soon as possible to ensure that you have no delays in receiving your Vote-by-Mail ballot, if requested, or when voting in-person during early voting and on Election Day.

Health protection and supplies

Election workers will:

• Have their temperatures taken and answer questions upon arrival as recommended by guidelines;

• Wear face shields or facemasks and gloves (when needed);

• Have hand sanitizer at their stations and will wash their hands and clean surfaces regularly;

• Voting booths will be cleaned
after each use and will have a “reserved” sign to provide social distancing between the booths;

• Air purifier machines will be running throughout the day (and evening during early voting).

Voters will be provided:

• A facemask and gloves, if requested, and hand sanitizer before entering the polling room and at various stations during the voting process;

• A disposable cotton-tipped wooden stick to sign the signature pad;

• A secrecy sleeve, if requested.

Everyone in the polling room will be requested to keep conversations to a minimum for the protection of all. To show your appreciation, give the dedicated election workers of Nassau County a “thumbs up.”

Accessible sample ballot

An accessible sample ballot is available at www.VoteNassau.com. Although a local news station recently reported that Nassau County was directed to provide an accessible ballot as a result of a recent lawsuit, our county had an accessible ballot for the 2020 Presidential Preference Primary election and had a contract in place for a new online ballot delivery system for persons with disabilities (once it was certified) even prior to the lawsuit. The new system was certified by the Florida Division of Elections on July 14, 2020 and will be implemented for the Nov. 3 general election. Five counties in Florida, including Nassau County, volunteered to be pilot counties for Florida.

Polling place changes

As a result of losing five polling places due to 2019 legislative changes and due to the limited number of election workers available to work in the upcoming elections, we consolidated polling places and are using school gyms and large facilities to allow for social distancing for voters who wish to vote in-person. Most locations are landmarks (schools, community centers, etc.) and, therefore, easy to locate. Precinct 201 (formerly First Baptist Church of Fernandina Beach) and Precinct 202 (formerly American Beach Community Center) have moved to 2100 Sadler Square (located on Sadler Road behind Krystal). Prior to the 2022 Gubernatorial Election cycle, the county will have completed the redistricting process and precinct boundaries and polling places will be changed as a result. All voters will then receive a new voter information card in preparation for the 2022 elections.

Options available for voters via www.votenassau.com

• Research my ballot: For informational resources on candidates, Constitutional Amendments (for General Election), etc.

• Track my ballot: If you requested a Vote-by-Mail ballot, you can track it online and it will show the following: Requested, Sent, Received and Counted. Once the status of your ballot displays as “Counted,” it will confirm that you had no voter errors and your ballot will be counted for the election. If there is a voter error, it will display as “Received” with a message below and instructions on how to cure the voter error.

• Early voting locations: All voters can vote at any of the five early voting locations. Early voting locations, dates, times and even wait times are displayed at this link.

• Ballot drop box locations: A list of all drop box locations and information.

• Find my polling place: Before – or on – Election Day, make sure you know where your polling place is located. Florida law requires that you vote in your assigned polling place on Election Day.

A recap of some key information

Ballot styles: In a primary election, your ballot style is based on your residential address and your party affiliation. Every voter will receive a ballot with the same races, except for the Republican ballot style, which will have one additional race: Representative in Congress, District 4.

Representative in Con-gress, District 4 race: In order to vote in this race, a voter must be registered as Republican. The deadline to change party affiliation for this election was July 20, 2020.The Republican candidate who receives a majority of the votes will face a Democratic and write-in candidate in the general election.

Universal Primary Con-tests: There are seven races that are Universal Primary Contests on the ballot. This means that candidates with the same party affiliation qualified for the seat and, because there were no other candidates to face in the general election, all registered voters in Nassau County are eligible to vote in these races. The candidate with the highest number of votes in the Primary Election will be elected to the seat.

District races: In Nassau County, the County Commission, School Board and Ocean Highway and Port Authority are at-large districts. This means that all registered voters in the county are eligible to vote in all district races. Provided your address is correct in your voter record, you are eligible to vote for any contest on your ballot. You will never be issued a ballot with a
race for which you are not eligible to vote.

Nonpartisan races (county judge and School Board): The following nonpartisan races are on the ballot:

• County Judge. There are four candidates in this race. If one candidate does not receive a majority of the votes (50% plus one vote) in the primary election, the two candidates with the highest number of votes will be on the ballot in the general election.

 • School Board. There are only two candidates in this race. Therefore, the race will be
decided in the primary election and will not be on the general election ballot. The candidate with a majority of votes will win.

In closing, if you have questions or suggestions, please contact our office – we are here to serve you. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable voting experience!

Should any voter need assistance now or in the future, email access@votenassau.com or call (904) 491-7500 or TDD (904) 491-7510 for assistance.