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Voice 2 Vote: Why the Florida primary is so important

The primary election usually gets low voter turnout, but the League of Women Voters says participation can create change in your community.
Credit: AP Images

With the primary and general elections drawing near, now is the time to prepare your vote.

Before the general election is held Nov. 3, Florida residents will vote in the August primary which usually gets low voter turnout. But if you want to create change in your community, both elections are equally important.

On August 18, you can guarantee county judges will be on the ballot.

Lanelle Philmon, President of the League of Women Voter Jax First Coast, a nonpartisan organization, says the average citizen is more likely to come in contact with a county judge than any other judge.

"A lot of times our county judges are referred to as the people's judge, or the people's court," Philmon said.

County judges handle traffic citations, citizen disputes, misdemeanors and small monetary disputes.

Philmon recommends researching the sitting judges and contenders to ensure you know who's holding the gavel.

During the November election, Duval residents will vote on the half-cent sales tax referendum. But during the primary, all Florida residents will vote on the school board members in their county,
"These are the people who will actually be deciding what happens to that money in the event the half-cent sales tax passes," Philmon said.

School board members also make decisions about weapons in schools, curriculum, and how schools will operate amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The deadline to register to vote in the Florida primary is Monday.

First Coast News is on your side with what you need to know before heading to the polls. Be sure to catch Voice 2 Vote weekdays on Good Morning Jacksonville.