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Jacksonville City Council election headed to runoff between Howland, Polson

With 100% of the vote reporting, Republican Nick Howland and Democrat Tracye Polson are in the lead, separated by just more than 600 votes.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The race to replace the seat held by the late-Tommy Hazouri is heading to a runoff in February as Duval County election officials completed tallying the ballots to Tuesday's special election.

With 100% of the vote reporting, Republican Nick Howland and Democrat Tracye Polson are in the lead, separated by just more than 600 votes. However, both are polling well below the 50% margin needed to claim victory without a runoff.

The results are as follows:

  • Nick Howland (R): 29,003 (35.94%)
  • James C. "Coach" Jacobs (D): 11,035 (13.68%)
  • Tracye A. Polson (D): 29,631 (36.72%)
  • Howland "Howdy" Russell (R): 11,024 (13.66%)

Between 10-15% of voters were expected to come out. County officials are reporting a final voter turnout of 12.5%. The County Supervisor of Election says this year’s special election had some challenges that could have played into the low turnout.

In all, 199 voting sites were opened Tuesday across the county. No major issues at the sites were reported, according to the Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan.

He says special elections typically have low turnout with most ballots coming from “super voters” or those who consistently cast a ballot in every election

He say this special election was especially difficult due to the rushed timetable and shorter campaign time for candidates, and that has played into the low voter turnout.

“At a moments notice they find out about an election and they haven’t had time to raise money to do all those things to get their message out to but signs all across the county," Hogan said. "So everything is rushed. The time constraints are terrible on the candidates."

The Elections supervisor expects his staff to work through the night Tuesday counting ballots.

If no candidate receives over 50% of the votes, the top two will face off in a February runoff election.

    

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