The ballot is so long and complicated that Duval County elections officials are urging people to request an absentee ballot to avoid a two- to three-hour wait at the polls. The city is mailing out absentee ballot requests to more than 200,000 voting households. You can tear it off, fill it out, with up to two voter requests for absentee ballots per form. Then tape it and mail it. Postage is prepaid. The mailing is costing the elections office more than $21,000, but it will make the election more controllable, according to Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland. First Coast News decided to find out how long it would take to fill out the ballot.
The elections office gave reporter Mike Lyons the longest ballot, which happens to be at the Beaches with 22 races, three Beaches charter amendments, and 11 state constitutional amendments and we started the clock. It’s a two page ballot, 17 inches long, printed on both sides. “We’ve never had a countywide four-page ballot before,” said Holland. The ballot included the presidential election, a Senate race, several local candidates to vote on, several judges up for election or reappointment. Then there were the amendments.