Runoff election early voting to start Friday

Early voting for the Gainesville City Commission runoff election starts Friday and runs through Sunday, with Election Day scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 25.

For early voting, only two sites are available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for people to use: the Office of the Supervisor of Elections (515 N Main St, Unit 300, Gainesville) and the Millhopper Public Library (3145 NW 43rd St, Gainesville).

In a radio segment on 106.9 I Am County, Kim Barton, supervisor of elections for Alachua County, cautioned those who chose the vote by mail option.

“It’s too late to mail your ballot in,” she said Tuesday. “It may not get to us in time; I wouldn’t want you to take the chance.”

Instead, those with mail-in ballots can drop them off anytime at the supervisor of elections office or at the Millhopper Public Library during the early voting period. Ballot dropoff boxes will be at both locations.

On Election Day, voters can head to the polls in their districts as normal. A list of polling locations are available at the supervisor of elections website.

In the November special election, none of the five candidates received a majority of the 11,725 votes cast, so the top two vote-getters, Cynthia Chestnut and Matt Howland, will return for the runoff. Chestnut received 46 percent of the vote in November, while Howland ended with 41 percent.

The two candidates were also the top fundraisers. Chestnut ended up on top, spending $35,124 to Howland’s $21,621. So far in the runoff period, Howland has reported just over $21,000 raised and $13,485 spent. Chestnut has raised just under $12,000 and spent $7,251.

The winner on Tuesday will fill the at-large seat of former commissioner Gail Johnson, who resigned in August.

Barton also reminded those living in Gainesville of the district limits.

“If you do not live in the city limits of Gainesville, you’re not able to vote in this election,” Barton said.

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