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Election officials sent 20,000 vote-by-mail ballots out for Gainesville special election this week

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 6:28 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The Gainesville special election is just one month away and election procedures are underway.

The Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office said almost 20,000 vote-by-mail ballots were mailed out this week, and they’re expecting thousands more requests.

It comes after Gainesville City Commissioner Gail Johnson resigned in late August.

“The charter says very simply we have to hold an election within 60 days. The election is going on right now with those ballots going out,” said David Arreola, Gainesville City Commissioner.

The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot is Saturday, November 6th.

Officials are encouraging voters to turn them in no later than one week before election day, November 16th.

The vote-by-mail coordinator said there is one important change all voters need to know.

“Our drop box will not be available until early voting starts. For this election, that’s the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday before election day,” said Michael Bruckman, the Vote-By-Mail Ballot Coordinator.

The change is a result of Senate Bill 90, Florida’s latest election law intended to strengthen voter integrity.

“From my perspective that’s the major one, and from a voter’s perspective,” said Bruckman.

The city commission is set to appoint the canvassing board for the election at their next meeting on October 21st.

The board is meant to add an extra layer of transparency to ensure a fair election.

TV 20 asked Bruckman if the voter fraud investigation should have any impact on the special election, he said residents can be sure only eligible voters can participate.

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