Often we get asked what our office does in years when there are no county-wide elections. The answer is, we stay busy! We have several projects that we are working on as this new year begins.
First, we will be going into the high schools in the county to present a voter education program to the graduating seniors. This program emphasizes the importance of registering and voting. During the presentation, students are given the opportunity to complete a voter registration application, as well as participate in a mock election. It is our hope that students that participate in the program come away from it with a better understanding not only of the importance of each vote, but also of the voter registration and election process in general.
In March, in compliance with Florida Statutes, we will begin the address list maintenance process of our voter registration database. We conduct list maintenance by comparing our address database with that of the United States Postal Service(USPS). Voters who report a new address to the USPS are “flagged” in our database when the addresses don’t match, and they are notified via postcard. Voters receiving these cards are encouraged to respond with confirmation that the new address is correct, or with a different address that accurately reflects their current residence. If you have recently had a change of address, you may let us know by calling our office at (850) 482-9652, by using our online address update utility by clicking here, or by notifying us in writing.
We are also preparing to assist several local municipalities with their elections. Cottondale, Graceville, Grand Ridge, Marianna, and Sneads are all scheduled to have elections on April 11. Several other municipalities have elections scheduled for various times later in the year. Those cities having elections on April 11, with the exception of Sneads, utilize the county's DS200 voting tabulators to tabulate their votes. They contract with us to code their elections, as well as to offer consulting services and election-night support. If you are a registered voter, a resident within the city limits, and are interested in running for a municipal office, contact your city clerk for a candidate qualifying packet.
In addition to all of these projects, we always have new voter registrations; name, address, and party changes; and voter registration deletions due to felony conviction, relocation, or death to process. We also track legislation and update office policies and procedures in response to changes to the Election Code. One such change that we are very excited about is the implementation of an online voter registration system in the State of Florida. Due to debut in October, this system will allow anyone who has been issued a Florida Driver's License or ID card to register to vote or to update their voter registration via a secure online process.
Finally, we are taking the opportunity to prepare for the Gubernatorial Election cycle that will take place in 2018. It's only a year away!
As you can see, your Jackson County Supervisor of Elections Office does not take the year off simply because there are no county-wide elections scheduled during a year. We remain committed to conducting fair, accurate elections with integrity, professionalism, and a strong commitment to customer service--even during "off" years!