Some city and county races will be decided on Tuesday as area residents head to the polls.
BY ANDREAS BUTLER
The 2020 primary election is Tuesday, Aug. 18, with several key local offices up for grabs, including Daytona Beach mayor, Volusia County chair, Volusia County School Board District 2 and a judge seat.
Volusia County elections are non-partisan, which means regardless of party affiliation, whoever gets 51 percent of the vote wins the office and doesn’t run during the general election in November.
Incumbent Mayor Derrick Henry is being opposed by Sherrise Boyd and Ken Strickland.
Running for county chair are Jeff Brower, Deborah Denys and Gerald Witman. School Board District 2 incumbent Ida Duncan Wright is facing challengers Andre Grant and Anita Burnette.
For the 7th Judicial Circuit Group 6, incumbent Chris Miller faces Nora Hall. Candidates for the Circuit Judge 7th Judicial Group 14 are Joan Anthony, Dan Hilbert and Mary Ellen Osterndorf. For Circuit Judge 7th Judicial Group 27, the candidates are Bryan Robert Rendzio and Alicia Washington. For Circuit Judge Group 6, Anna Handy faces Mike Orfinger.
On the ballot for the Democratic Party for the Florida House of Representatives District 26 are former seat holder Patrick Henry, who faces Evans Smith. The winner battles incumbent Elizabeth Fetterhoff in November.
Where to vote
The other local races will be decided during the general election in November.
Meanwhile, early voting continues in Volusia and Flagler counties through Aug. 15. Polls are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Volusia and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Flagler.
Volusia County early voting locations are:
Daytona Beach Regional Library Center at City Island, 105 E. Magnolia Ave.
Volusia County Administration Building at 123 W. Indiana Ave., DeLand
Deltona City Commission Chambers at 2345 Providence Blvd.
Port Orange Regional Library at 1005 City Center Circle
New Smyrna Beach Regional Library at 101 S. Dixie Freeway
Ormond Beach Regional Library at 30 S. Beach St.
Flagler County early voting sites are:
Supervisor of Elections Office at 1769 E. Moody Blvd. Bldg. 2, Suite 101, Bunnell
Flagler County Public Library at 2500 Palm Coast Pkwy. NW, Palm Coast
Palm Coast Community Center at 305 Palm Coast Pkwy. NE, Palm Coast
‘Every vote counts’
As of Daytona Times’ Wednesday deadline, the Supervisor of Elections website (www.volusiaelections.org) posted that 4,552 voters had voted early and 55,410 absentee ballots have been returned.
The coronavirus pandemic makes this election different. It encourages some people to hit the polls and others to use alternative methods.
Lola Young voted early in Daytona on Tuesday afternoon.
She told the Times, “I usually vote on Election Day, but I decided to do it early this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important to vote. Every vote counts. We have a situation in America and it’s not right. Racism is one of them. We need to get the right people in office.”
No major complaints have been reported thus far.
Daytona Beach/Volusia County NAACP President Cynthia Slater commented, “We have no concerns or complaints. I keep in touch with the Supervisor of Elections.
“The only thing I am looking at is the postal service slowing up mail with mail-in ballots. We are recommending people turn in their ballots to early voting sites and the Supervisor of Elections Office.”
Political and social justice organizations are pushing vote by mail/absentee ballots due to COVID-19.
“The coronavirus has people reluctant to go out and be out in public. That’s why we are pushing vote by mail,” said Slater.
‘Park N Praise’
An event to get people excited about voting is this Saturday at Derbyshire Park.
The Volusia “Park N Praise’’ Primary Election Rally is on Saturday Aug. 15 from noon to 3 p.m. at Derbyshire Park.
The event is a collaboration of churches and organizations, including the Volusia County Minority Elected Officials, Equal Grounds, Daytona Times, Midtown Community Development Corporation, and Hope Fellowship Church.
People will park their cars and drop off vote-by-mail ballots.
It will feature live music, backpack giveaways and prayer for students, teachers and others.
“We definitely want to get people out to vote, especially the Black vote. We want as many people as possible to cast their ballots,” said Mario Davis, executive director of the Volusia County Minority Elected Officials.