The Duval County Supervisor of Elections office provides signs in English and Spanish outside the Duval County Public Library Mandarin Branch location to notify voters where they can cast their ballot. | Will Brown, Jacksonville Today

#AskJAXTDY | Why vote in the Florida primary? 

Published on March 13, 2024 at 4:28 pm

Q: With early voting underway in Florida’s March 19 Republican Presidential Preference Primary, Jacksonville Today reader Ellen H. wants to know how much Florida Republicans’ votes matter now that former President Donald Trump has enough delegates to be the GOP nominee.

“Besides Trump, with all other GOP contenders having now suspended their campaigns,” she says, “will any votes for them—say, in protest to Trump—be counted? Or, would those ballots be disregarded altogether and not get counted?”

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“Will any votes for them—say, in protest to Trump—be counted? Or, would those ballots be disregarded altogether and not get counted?”

A: As Jacksonville Today has reported before, the short answer is yes, votes for all candidates will still count, even for those who’ve suspended their campaigns. 

We reached out to Duval Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland again this week, and he confirmed that votes for all seven GOP candidates on the ballot will be tabulated and reported to determine who gets Florida’s delegates.

Because Florida is a “winner-takes-all” state, Holland says, the state’s 125 Republican delegates will go to whoever gets the most votes. 

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So if, say, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis or former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley wins the state primary on Tuesday, they would get Florida’s delegates, Holland tells Jacksonville Today

As voter turnout is expected to dip now that Trump is the only one officially in the race, Holland believes it’s still important that Florida Republicans express who they want as their presidential candidate. 

“Voting is a way of showing support,” he says. 

The Republican candidates on the ballot are Texas businessman and pastor Ryan Binkley, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and Trump, in that order. 

Have a question you’d like the Jacksonville Today team to look into? Email with #AskJAXTDY in the subject line, and you might see your answer soon.

author image Carter is a senior majoring in communication at the University of North Florida. He spent three years at Spinnaker, UNF's award-winning student-run media outlet, which was recognized among the best student newsrooms in the nation during his tenure as editor-in-chief. Carter's reporting has placed for multiple awards, and he generally covers news and education topics. He's also had bylines in the Jacksonville Business Journal.

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