Blalock wins city of Alachua commission seat 

Commissioner Jennifer Blalock at a Jan. 8 commission meeting.
Commissioner Jennifer Blalock at a Jan. 8 commission meeting.
Photo by Glory Reitz

Incumbent Commissioner Jennifer Blalock won the city of Alachua’s election for Seat 5 on the city commission Tuesday by a 73-vote margin. 

Blalock amassed 409 votes, giving her a 55% majority. Her opponent Eric L. Ford gained 336 votes, or 45%. 

As of 9 p.m., 78 Vote-By-Mail ballots were received. 

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Blalock will be sworn into office at the regular April 22, 6 p.m. meeting of the Alachua City Commission. 

Before results were announced, the Alachua County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sent out a press release expressing alarm over “precinct mishaps and inoperable situations” at the Precinct #53, the Cleather Hathcock Sr. Community Center. 

NAACP president Evelyn Foxx said that the precinct is mostly made up of African Americans and that the voting machines at the community center were not working when she went by in the afternoon. 

Foxx said voters at the precinct were being asked to put their ballots into a box instead of the machines. 

“That’s a sacred document,” Foxx said in a phone interview. “Why would you put the people’s ballots in a box? Who has control of that box?” 

Foxx said she also stopped by to look in at the Turkey Creek polling place, where all appeared to be proceeding smoothly. She said the Hancock Community Center being the only polling place using physical boxes was “not a good look,” and that it raises questions. 

The deputy city clerk could not be reached for comment on Tuesday night. 

Commission Seat 4 was also up for reelection, but incumbent Commissioner Shirley Green Brown was the only qualifier for that seat so that race did not appear on the ballot. 

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