JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Monday, Oct. 5 at midnight, is the deadline to register to vote in Duval County.
But the Supervisor of Elections helped hundreds of people get registered today.
Robert Phillips, the chief elections officer of the Duval Supervisor of Elections, told Action News Jax’s Courtney Cole that 397 people came down to the Supervisor of Elections in downtown Jacksonville to get registered.
Supervisor of Elections staff assembled tents outside to allow people to register to vote without having to go through the COVID-19 prescreening necessary to enter the building.
“Again, 2020 has thrown us some challenges,” Phillips said.
There was even a little rain thrown into the mix today, but it didn’t stop folks from coming out.
“Out here, we have a lot of activity. We’ve been going since first thing this morning,” Phillips told Action News Jax.
There were people of all ages from all walks of life — some even registered for the very first time like Lemark Jamison.
Monday, Oct. 5, is a day he will always remember.
“It feels awesome, you know? It feels awesome,” Jamison told Cole.
Today, Jamison had the opportunity to register to vote for the first time in Florida.
“I’ve worked for voter registration companies. I’ve done advocating for Amendment 4, but I was never able to vote because of my prior background. But now I can,” Jamison said.
Jamison, the owner of a tax and credit repair business, told Cole his prior felony conviction held him back in the past.
In November 2018, more than 60% of Floridians voted to restore voting rights to more than 1 million people who completed their sentences.
But several months later, legislation was passed that required them to pay all financial penalties, which means thousands lost the right as quickly as they gained it.
“I’ve been contributing to society. I’ve been able to have several businesses. And I pay taxes. But I haven’t been able to, when it comes to voting, whether in a local level or any type of legislature — I haven’t been able to vote,” Jamison said.
The 35-year-old told Cole even though his wife helped him fill out his voter registration form — to which he exclaimed, “Thank God for wives, right?” — he told Cole it was pretty easy.
Now, he has this advice to share with other people who may be in his shoes:
“Get out and vote. Take advantage of this opportunity, regardless of who you plan on voting for.”
Here’s a breakdown from the Supervisor of Elections of how the 397 people registered today:
-56% registered as Democrats.
-21% registered as Republicans.
-22% registered as nonparty affiliates.