Party switches keep supervisor busy

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Precincts have been redistricted, consolidated

By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

The deadline to be registered to vote or change any information on voter registration records for the Aug. 14 primary is July 16, but Supervisor of Elections Connie Asbell is already busy helping voters change their party affiliation and getting voter information cards in the mail this week.
Asbell, who is not seeking re-election, said some voters have been coming in to change their party registration from Democrat to Republican and have said they are doing so in order to vote in the sheriff's race.  
In the primary, three Republicans are seeking their party's nomination, while the Democrats do not have any candidate. The only other candidate in the race who is not affiliated with any party will not be on the ballot until the November general election.
"We've had some, yes," Asbell said in a phone interview on Monday. "I see it happening and when they come in here they're telling me they want to vote in the sheriff's race. When you look at the ballot for the primary the Democrats don't have much to vote for."
Asbell checked the records at a candidate's request and found that between May 25 and Monday, 164 residents had changed their party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. "It seems like it has been more than that to me," she said, "But maybe it's because it has been one or two every day."
Voters who are registered should be receiving their Voter Information Card in the mail this week. Asbell said the cards were being sent out on Monday. She said voters should check them as almost every precinct in the county has had changes due to redistricting.
And the Levy County Commission approved Asbell's request a month ago to consolidate some voting precincts for the elections.
Voters in the Camp Azalea and Fowlers Bluff areas will vote at Precinct 5, the Willow Sink Precinct polling place at 6731 N.W. 100th Street, Chiefland, and voters in Otter Creek will vote at Precinct 6, the Gulf Hammock Precinct polling place at 2852 S.E. County Road 326 in Gulf Hammock.
Asbell said when the Legislature did redistricting this year as a result of the 2010 U.S. Census it kept Levy County whole instead of spliting it into three state representative, two state senate and two congressional districts.
This year, the county remained whole in redistricting and will have one state representative, one state senator and one congressional representative.
But the same Census meant the county commission had to do some redistricting for county school board and commission districts. That meant Asbell had to realign precincts to keep them whole for the county elections.
Thus it is voters are receiving the new cards and will need to check them and learn where their voting place is located before the primary and general election.
For more information on voting call the Supervisor of Elections Office at 352-486-5163 or visit the office Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at 421 S. Court St., Bronson.