JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville City Council candidate Charles Garrison filed a lawsuit this week against opposing candidate Nahshon Hicks and Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan.
Garrison and Nicks are currently running for the At-Large Group 5 seat.
The lawsuit seeks to declare Nicks unqualified as a candidate due to him reportedly not living in the established residency area for that seat during the qualifying period.
The lawsuit alleges Nicks was actually a resident of the residence area for At-Large Group 1.
“The City of Jacksonville residency requirements exist to ensure that our neighbors have fair and equal representation,” said Garrison in an emailed statement. "When a candidate is not truthful about their residency, it deprives our neighbors of this fundamental right. It’s unacceptable for anyone to try to undermine the integrity of our democratic process by disregarding these requirements."
The city’s residency rules require candidates to live within their district or residency area for 183 consecutive days before filing to run.
Andrew Pantazi with The Tributary reports that when Nicks voted in August, his registration said he lived at a home on Moby Dick Drive West. That home was outside of At-Large Group 5. In October, he changed his registration to a Springfield home inside of the residency area, two days before he filed to run as a candidate.
If Nicks has lived in Springfield since July as the charter requires, he may have committed voter fraud by voting in August in the wrong state house and senate districts, reports Pantazi.
Willfully registering to vote somewhere other than your residential address is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.