BY JENNIFER CABRERA
Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Kim Barton has sent a letter to the Alachua County Commission in response to their request that she add an extra early voting day on the Sunday before both the Primary and General elections.
In the letter, Barton explained that adding an extra day right before Election Day would create logistical challenges for her staff and for election workers because the Sunday prior to Election Day is used by her office to transition from early voting operations to Election Day operations. All of the early voting materials and equipment must be picked up from the Early Voting sites on Saturday night, and the Election Day materials and equipment must be ready to be distributed by 8:30 a.m. Monday morning. Barton said that approximately 16 of Florida’s 67 counties provided early voting on that final Sunday before Election Day in the 2018 and 2020 elections.
Although Commissioner Ken Cornell said on May 24, “I think that if she doesn’t do it, she’s gonna really take it on the chin” because the NAACP and League of Women Voters are requesting the extra day, Barton wrote in her letter that she spoke with local NAACP President Evelyn Foxx several months ago and was told that the “Souls to the Polls” event would be on August 14. Barton said she told Foxx that her staff would provide additional coverage for that day, “demonstrating my commitment to making voting as accessible as possible.”
Although Barton said she would not add early voting on the Sunday before the Primary election, she left open the possibility of designating the Supervisor of Elections office as the sole early voting site on the Sunday before the General election in November.