With the statewide tally over 1 million and the county pushing 1,000 ballots cast, the primary season is a busy one.

“It is shaping up, if things hold, to be a higher than average turnout for a midterm primary,” said Supervisor of Elections John Hanlon.

“If that trend holds.”

As of Wednesday morning, Hanlon’s office had received back 452 of nearly 900 absentee mailed ballots and the early voting numbers have been strong every day but Sunday, again typical, Hanlon said.

Early voting was nearing 520 Wednesday morning, putting the number of ballots cast among the 10,097 voters pushing 10 percent, 9.59 percent.

Hanlon said he compares the county to others statewide and his latest look showed the Florida’s 67 counties had received, as of Wednesday morning of early voting week, 6 percent.

“So, we appear to be trending ahead of much of the state at this point,” Hanlon said.

And there remain three more days of early voting at two sites: Hanlon’s office at 401 Long Ave. in Port St. Joe and the Wewahitchka Public Library at 314 N. 2nd Street.

Early voting continues 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. ET (6:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. CT) Thursday and Friday and 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. ET (7 a.m. until 4 p.m. CT) Saturday.

Polls will be open Tuesday 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. ET.

There are 4,837 registered Republicans in Gulf County and 3,968 Democrats; add in those who register with no party affiliation or with a minor party and the total Gulf County electorate is 10,097.

Ballots will vary depending on party and precinct where the voter casts their ballot during any Election Day.


School Board and BOCC District 4

Two of the local races on the ballot, for School Board Districts 1 and 5 are non-partisan and will be decided Tuesday (see candidate survey A5).

All voters in Precincts 1 and 8, Honeyville and Howard Creek, respectively, will decide between Bernadette Hackett and Dennis McGlon in District 1.

All voters in Precincts 5 and 7, Centennial Building and the Cape San Blas Fire Station, respectively, will have a choice between Ruby Knox and Barbara Radcliff.

County races for Board of County Commissioners and Gulf County School Board are by districts, not county-wide.

“The non-partisan races will be on both the Republican and Democrat ballots, but if the voter is registered as no party affiliation and are in precincts 1, 5, 7, 8, the school board races will not be on their ballots,” Hanlon said.

There is one local partisan race, for the District 4 seat on the Board of County Commissioners.

Incumbent Commissioner Sandy Quinn, Jr. is facing a challenge from Tan Smiley in a rematch of four years ago.

Democratic voters who cast their ballots at the Port St. Joe Fire Station will determine who will advance to the November general election against two no-party affiliation candidate.

All other local races will be decided in November.


The rest of the ballot

That is not to say the voters will not have much more on their ballot.

On the GOP side, voters will cast ballots to determine November candidates for U.S. Senate, Florida Governor, Florida Attorney General and Florida Commissioner of Agriculture.

Democrat voters will have choices for Governor, Florida Attorney General, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and a candidate for the Second Congressional District.