A voting precinct in Jacksonville's Lakewood neighborhood. | Claire Heddles, Jacksonville Today

What to expect during Tuesday’s presidential primary in Florida

Published on March 18, 2024 at 4:01 pm

Election Day is Tuesday for the Florida Presidential Preference Primary, the first election day for the busy 2024 election cycle.

The election is a closed primary, meaning only registered Republicans can cast a ballot for one of the seven presidential candidates. The names that will appear on the ballot are Texas businessman and pastor Ryan Binkley, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and former President Donald Trump. That is the order in which the names will appear on someone’s ballot.

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The Florida Democratic Party late last year submitted only President Joe Biden as a candidate, so there will be no Democratic primary.

Nationally, President Biden and former President Trump have both secured enough delegates to secure the Democratic and Republican nomination for president.

Florida is a winner-take-all state, meaning whoever wins the state would get all of Florida’s 125 delegates — even if the candidate had suspended his or her campaign.

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Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland said, even though the race for the GOP nomination is decided, voters can still use this election as a chance to familiarize themselves with the Election Day process if they have any changes.

“It’s still important for voters to show their support, whether it be for former President Trump or for any of the candidates, it’s their opportunity to show their support,” Holland said.

This will be the first election where Duval County will use fewer precincts compared to previous elections, which means changes for some voters. This election day 160 precincts will be used. Previously there were 186 precincts.

Holland said voters should double check their voter information cards, sample ballots or put in their address on the supervisor’s website to know where to go to vote on Election Day.

Some voters in St. Johns County also will have a new Election Day polling location beginning with this election. Supervisor of Elections Vicky Oakes said two new sites are being added to deal with population growth in particular areas of the county.

Thus far, turnout for this presidential primary election remains consistent for each of the counties along the First Coast.

As of Monday, turnout in Duval County stands at 11.6%, St. Johns County 10.7% turnout and Clay County 10.5%. Nassau County has the highest turnout percentage in the area at 15.7%. Baker County has the second-highest at 14.4%, and Putnam County has 11.3% turnout.

Those percentages are a combination of the number of votes cast either during each county’s early voting period or vote-by-mail.

If you plan to vote Tuesday, you will only be able to vote in your designated election day polling location. That location is typically found on your voter information card or you can look up your precinct through the department of state’s website.

Polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you are in line by 7 p.m., you will be able to vote, according to the Florida Department of State

If you have a vote-by-mail ballot, it must be returned to your supervisor of elections office no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day.

author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 email Steven Ponson has six years of experience covering news in Jacksonville and Northeast Florida. Prior to arriving on the First Coast, Steven also worked in radio in Orlando. He attended the University of Central Florida where he earned a degree in radio and television. Steven has been a reporter, producer, anchor and board operator. Outside of work, Steven loves to watch sports, cook delicious cajun food (as any good Louisiana native does) and spend time outdoors.

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