JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- City council unanimously voted to close 52 polling sites Tuesday night for the upcoming presidential election.
"We've consolidated precincts and from the standpoint of what we've looked at it the past and turn outs, we'll be able to handle this and not cause a problem in the elections," said Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland.
There used to be 250 places for voters in Duval County to cast a ballot, but for the fast-approaching presidential election there will only be 198.
"That will save the taxpayers roughly $125,000 per election," he said.
Holland said most people won't be drastically impacted by the change, as most polling centers will be equidistant for voters.
He made the push to close the centers because fewer people are turning up.
In the 2008 election, Holland said 64% of voters cast their ballot before election day.
"That's really taken the demand off election day. If we continue that trend we'll have no problem whatsoever," he said.
The problem, though, might be with voter registration in the state.
According to the Florida Board of Elections, 80,000 fewer people have registered to vote this election cycle than in 2008.
Op-Ed pieces written the the League of Women Voters and former Governor Charlie Crist blame so-called voter fraud laws that went on the books this past summer.
"There's some good things about it and some things we'll just have to deal with," he said.
The law restricts early voting to eight days before the election, and puts new restrictions on third parties who register voters.
Despite the low numbers statewide, Holland doesn't think the law has had a negative impact here.
"Right now we do not have declining registrations in Duval County, so we are very optimistic about this fall," he said.
Holland said every voter will get a new registration card for the election.
First Coast News