Early Voting For Gainesville City Commission
GAINESVILLE - There's plenty at stake in this month's city commission race in Gainesville. Early voting starts Monday for three seats and voters are showing their concerns for hot button issues like transportation and the governance of Gainesville Regional Utilities.
Sample ballots have already been mailed out to voters, so they can know what to expect. For many, early voting is a convenient alternative-- that starts Monday. But if you still prefer to go out to the polls-- the race is on March 11th.
As the famous saying by Abraham Lincoln goes, "Elections belong to the people." Some Gainesville residents say it’s easier for their voices to be heard in local rather than national elections.
Gainesville voter Deborah Cupples, said, "Our votes count more if you have say, 20,000 voters voting than if you have 2 million or 40 million voters voting. So we have more power as voters in the sense that each vote counts more greatly.”
On March 11th the race is on-- Three out of the seven Gainesville city commission seats are up for grabs. For District 2 there are three candidates running; incumbent commissioner Todd chase, Cheri Brodeur and Sheryl Eddie. For District 3 incumbent commissioner Susan Bottcher is running against Craig Carter.
And there are four candidates hoping to fill the at large seat 2 which will be vacated by incumbent commissioner Thomas Hawkins. Those candidates are Annie Orlando, Donald Shepherd, Mark Venzke and Helen Warren.
And if you don't want to hit the polls you can fill out an absentee ballot instead. Those are being mailed daily and the last day to request one is Wednesday at 5pm.
While some residents like Cupples are looking forward to early voting, "I think it should be available because voting is a fundamental right, it's in our constitution and the harder it is for people to vote... Well, the harder it is for them to exercise that fundamental right. And not everyone has a flexible schedule."
Others feel like they're not being heard at all and worry about many issues from the bus rapid transit to the governance of Gainesville Regional Utility. Allen Pinson said, "GRU rates are ridiculous... They're the highest in the state of Florida. For what? Why?” Pinson feels too discouraged to even go out and vote. "They're not that important anymore because you have the students voting and they vote for crazy stuff and then they leave... And we're stuck with the rules."
And if you haven't heard what the candidates have to say. The final candidate forum is at 6 pm Monday in the Alachua County Health Department and that is being sponsored by the African-American Accountability Alliance.
Early voting will run through March 8th and residents can vote at the Millhopper Branch Library or the Supervisor of Elections Office.
For more information click here.
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