Majority of Jax City Council Backs Moving County Elections Center

Aug 6, 2013

In a narrow 5-4 vote Tuesday by the Jacksonville City Council Finance Committee, 10 council members have now voted to move the Duval County Supervisor of Elections offices and warehouse to a location on Imeson Road.

The Jacksonville City Council Finance Committee has voted to move the Supervisor of Elections Election Center out of the Gateway Town Center.
Credit Kevin Meerschaert

Two other committees also voted Monday on the proposed 10 year lease agreement. While the Rules Committee mirrored today's vote, the Transportation, Energy & Utilities Committee supported a proposal to keep the office at its current location in the Gateway Town Center. The full council will vote on the proposals Tuesday.

Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland is a strong supporter of moving to One Imeson Road. He says the building better fits his needs.

One Imeson is a one-story warehouse. Gateway is two stories, making it harder to move voting equipment. Holland also said that the addition of two loading docks means election results can be compiled faster.

He added it has only been recently that Gateway's owners have been willing to lower rent and make needed repairs to the current location.   

Holland says Gateway is often where candidates establish campaign headquarters, which some have complained leads to an unfair political advantage of being so close to a place where absentee ballots are dropped off.

The final lease agreement proposals, which have been in flux for several months, are very close in costs according to a report by the council auditors office. Mayor Alvin Brown has backed keeping the office at Gateway Town Center.