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Congresswoman calls vote to move elections office racial

11:03 PM, Aug 13, 2013   |    comments
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Rep. Corrine Brown spoke at FSCJ about education and service
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  • JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  It's not hanging chads or problems with voting machines. This time the problem, at least for some people is the decision to relocate a Duval County's elections office.

    Among those outraged tonight is Congresswoman Corrine Brown, who calls the move a racial in justice.

    A 14-month long discussion over the future of the Gateway Shopping Center elections office has ended and the vote has critics furious.

    "It's a racial issue and it's Jacksonville and it's regular racist self," said Congresswoman Corrine Brown.

    Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland telling First Coast News the decision is based off of what's best financially for taxpayers.

    Adding that it costs $51,000 a month to lease the current Gateway Space with a fixed rate of $6,250 for electric.

    Compare that to the Imeson location which will give the office control over an electric meter and cost approximately $40,000 for the first year.

    But besides the issue of cost, a concern over voter convenience has turned into a hot topic.

    As some fear, closing the Gateway location will cut off locals particularly the African American Community, many of whom rely on the bus system to vote early.

    "People get confused there because they're looking at we're moving Gateway and it's an early voting site, we must be moving early voting," said Jerry Holland, Supervisor of Elections.

    Holland says that is not the case and that the Imeson location is merely an operations office.

    The Supervisor of the Elections says the 14 early voting locations are determined each election cycle and there are plans to return to the Northside location.

    "Gateway is a neighborhood where we've been struggling to bring back and provide economic opportunities," said Congresswoman Brown.

    Congresswoman Brown has said she will take the issue to court.

    Meanwhile, the move to the new office is scheduled for September.

    First Coast News

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