General Election: November 8
Midterm elections historically generate lower voter turnout than presidential elections. Over the past 60 years about 50–60% of voters cast ballots in presidential races, while only about 40% of those eligible to vote went to the polls in the midterms. Duval County turnout for this year's August 23 primary was a mere 28%. This November turnout will likely determine who controls Congress - and with it the ability to implement or block the President's agenda. If you are outraged by the Republican party’s assaults on voting rights, abortion rights, and the legitimacy of our electoral system, now is the time to do all you can to ensure Democratic victories up and down the ballot – in Florida and across the country.
In addition to key state and national races, local races at the Beach will be on the November ballot. These include elections for mayor in Atlantic Beach, and city council members in Atlantic and Neptune Beach. Residents in Jacksonville Beach will be asked to weigh-in on numerous amendments to their city charter. Click here for details on those Beaches races.
The balance of this page is intended to provide solid information on the races ahead. If you find something missing, email us and we'll try to fill the gap. Meantime, study up, share and discuss with friends & family, and MAKE SURE YOU VOTE!
October 11, 2022
Deadline to Register to Vote
October 24 - November 6
November 8, 2022
Click on the boxes below to find out more about races, candidates & other ballot measures!
Need Help Deciding?
The League of Women Voters has compiled responses to detailed questionnaires submitted by state and local candidates in the upcoming election. You can compare responses side-by-side for key races. Just enter your address and party affiliation to find out what the candidates vying for your vote had to say on issues that matter to you!
Need a primer on the 2022 Primary and General Elections? Download this comprehensive 10-page overview of the mid-term races and ballot issues.
Governor & Lt. Governor
Democrat Charlie Crist and Karla Hernandez-Mats, his pick for lieutenant governor, face incumbent GOP Governor Ron DeSantis and Lt. Governor Jeanette Nunez. This is a key race with wide-ranging implications for the state.
During his first term, DeSantis was a vocal opponent of the Biden agenda. He refused to enact public health measures to curb the spread of COVID, contributing to high transmission and death rates in the state. He pushed through legislative measures to limit abortion access, eliminate minority congressional districts, establish an electoral police force, and took aim at what he described as a "woke" agenda among educators and employers addressing history,
inclusiveness & diversity. Desantis is flush with campaign cash and widely believed to be eyeing a bid for the presidency in 2024. If you still have doubts, read 101 Reasons NOT to vote for DeSantis compiled by the Democratic Women's Club.
Crist is a strong advocate for abortion rights, and a vocal critic of DeSantis' efforts to politicize education and immigration. He has been endorsed by major labor groups in the state, as well as Planned Parenthood and Florida Rising. Crist previously served as the state's governor and commissioner of education, and as a U.S. Congressmember from Pinellas County. Hernandez-Mats led Florida's largest teachers' union in Miami-Dade County.
Both Crist and DeSantis have pledged to make education the focus of this critical statewide race. The candidates are scheduled to appear in a televised debate in October.
In a key statewide race, Congresswoman Val Demings (D) is polling well to unseat incumbent U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R). Demings could solidify the Democratic majority in the Senate, allowing the Biden agenda to move forward. She would also give Florida progressives a voice they have not had in Washington since Bill Nelson's defeat in 2020.
The former police chief of Orlando, Demings grew up in Jacksonville. She has out-raised Rubio, and pledged to work hard to reach voters in both red and blue strongholds in the state. Rubio has toed the party line in Washington, opposing abortion, gun control, and Biden initiatives supporting economic recovery and climate action. Check out this comparison of their voting records by the Democratic Women's Club. Watch their October 18th televised debate here.
FL House District 16
DeSantis-endorsed GOP primary winner Kiyan Michael, a Black Voices for Trump leader, faces two write-in candidates in the general election. The write-in candidates, both of whom live outside the district, prevented DEMs & NPAs from voting in the primary. No DEMs ran in this race and sadly nothing remains to be decided in November.
FL Senate District 4
Well-funded veteran GOP legislator Clay Yarborough will face Democrat Sharmin Smith in the November general election.
Lawmakers tinkered with the boundaries of this state senate district - one of two covering Duval - it continues to trend solidly red.
There are three state Cabinet positions up for election in 2022: Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, and Chief Financial Officer. In all three races, the Republican candidates have pledged to support DeSantis' agenda. Their Democratic challengers urge the need for change.
Attorney General - Democrat Aramis Ayala, the first elected Black woman to serve as a state's attorney, faces GOP incumbent Ashley Moody. Moody, a reliable vote on the state cabinet supporting DeSantis' initiatives, has repeatedly sued the Biden administration opposing vaccine and mask mandates, as well as immigration policies.
Commissioner of Agriculture - Democratic candidate, Naomi Blemur, a member of the DEM Executive Committee in Miami-Dade County, is running against GOP nominee Wilton Simpson, former FL Senate president. Simpson, who buckled to DeSantis over redistricting and supported his agenda as senate leader, has amassed a sizeable war chest.
Chief Financial Officer: GOP incumbent Jimmy Patronis faces DEM Adam Hattersley in the November general election. Hattersley is a Navy veteran and author of Accidental Politician, which documents his campaign for the state legislature.
Special Election Run-Off: Duval County Sheriff
DEM Lakesha Burton and DeSantis-endorsed GOP contender T.K. Waters, the top two vote-getters in the August primary, are vying for a chance to fill the term of former Duval County sheriff Mike Williams who resigned over residency issues last spring. Both candidates are veterans of the department which boasts a budget of more than $.5 billion. Both were endorsed by JAXBIZ, the political arm of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, in the primary. The winner will face re-election as an incumbent in the spring.
The two candidates participated in a forum on September 15 co-hosted by Jacksonville Today and the Jacksonville Bar Association. Find a summary of their responses and link to the recording here.
There are three statewide constitutional amendments on the November ballot in Florida. All were proposed by the Florida Legislature. Amendment 1 limits the effect of flood resistance improvements made to homes on their property assessments. Amendment 2 abolishes the state Constitutional Revision Commission. And Amendment 3 offers additional homestead exemptions for selected public service employees. The League of Women Voters has no position on Amendment 1, and opposes Amendments 2 and 3. Read the group's analysis here. The Democratic Women's Club urges a "no" vote on all three amendments. Find out why here.
Water & Soil Conservation District
Two of five seats governing the Duval Water & Soil Conservation District are contested and will appear on the November ballot. Eugene Ford III and Demetris Harrison are vying for the Group 3 seat, while Ray "R.J" Deacon, Jr. and Bryson Kade Morgan are seeking election in Group 5. This is a nonpartisan race.
BAM did not submit candidate questionnaires in this race and we've had trouble learning more about who to support. But conversations with people who know more about this race suggest Harrison & Deacon are best qualified.
Merit Retention: FL Supreme Court & District Court of Appeals
Florida law requires Florida Supreme Court justices and appeals court judges to be placed on the ballot in nonpartisan elections every six years so voters can determine whether they should remain on their courts for another term. Newly named Supreme Court justices also go before voters two years after their appointment. These are called “merit retention” elections. This year, five Supreme Court justices and five appeals court judges will be on the ballot in Duval County.
Supreme Court Justices facing Merit Retention include two DeSantis appointees: John D. Couriel and Jamie R. Grosshans, and three justices appointed by Charlie Crist when he served as Governor (2007-11): Jorge Labarga, Ricky Polston and Charles T. Canady. Jax Today has compiled this useful summary of key decisions by the judges to help you decide on their retention. FL NOW and the Democratic Women's Club are recommending "thumbs down" for all of the justices EXCEPT Jorge Labarga because of their right-wing decisions. Find their bios here.
Judges on the ballot for a merit retention vote in the 1st District Court of Appeals include: Ross Bilbrey, Susan Kelsey, Robert E. Long, Lori Rowe, and Thomas "Bo" Winokur. Find their bios here and info on their key rulings here.
The Florida Bar has conducted a statewide merit retention poll asking its members to rate judges and justices who are on the ballot. Check out the Bar's Guide for Florida Voters & FAQ's about judicial and merit retention elections.
Three Ways to Vote!
Vote by Mail
If you signed up for Vote-by-Mail (VBM) in the past, recent changes in state law may have affected your VBM status. Click here to check. You can request a VBM ballot up until October 24. Reminders: use black ink, bubble in your choice, sign using the name on your voter registration, date, and provide contact info so you can be notified if your ballot is rejected and needs correcting. If you need a quick refresher, check out this short BAM how-to video, or the more detailed SOE version. Mail in your completed ballot in the pre-paid postage envelope provided or drop off at any early voting site October 24 - November 6. Ballots must be received in the SOE Office by 7 p.m. on Election Day (November 8).
IOnce you've submitted a VBM ballot you can track it here to see when it's been counted. If you change your mind and decide to vote in person, just bring your VBM ballot to your polling site and turn it in prior to voting.
Early Voting: October 24 - November 6
Avoid Election Day crowds and vote early in person October 24 through November 6 at the Beaches library or any early voting site. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Don't forget to bring your official photo ID.
Check this list of FAQ's for additional information on early voting.
Election Day - Tuesday, November 8
Here's a list of FAQs from the SOE with additional information on voting on Election Day.
What If You Have Problems at the Polls?
If your eligibility to vote is challenged for any reason, including verifying your voter registration or identification, you have a right to complete a Provisional Ballot. You will be required to provide follow-up information within specific deadlines, and will be able to track when your ballot is counted. Find out more under "Voting a Provisional Ballot" in this list of FAQs.
Coming Soon: 2023 City Elections
The City of Jacksonville holds unitary municipal elections in Spring, 2023. The first election is March 21 and the run-off election for candidates not receiving a majority of votes is April 17. The first election is held with a single ballot for all voters, regardless of party affiliation. Candidates appear on the ballot with party labels and campaign as party candidates.
There are nine announced candidates in the Mayor's race to date. Read A.R. Gancarski's analysis of what's ahead here.
Other offices on the ballot include: Sheriff, Property Appraiser, Supervisor of Elections, Tax Collector, and all 19 City Council seats.