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Controversy over elections office move far from over

11:22 PM, Aug 27, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILE, Fla. -- U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan refused to issue an emergency order blocking an elections center from leaving the Gateway Shopping Center Tuesday -- but it has done nothing to quiet the controversy surrounding it.

The hearing will now be held Sept. 23 -- putting the move to 1 Imeson Park Blvd. on hold.

"[It's] not the best location. 1 Imeson is more efficient and one story, four loading docks and over a 125 months, they are the cheapest," said Jerry Holland, Duval County Supervisor of Elections.

Tuesday Mayor Alvin Brown sent city council President Bill Gulliford an email saying he will not sign the council resolution to move the SOE location. Gulliford believes the office should remain where it is.

Though the mayor has veto power, the Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland has been told that will not happen.

"The Mayor's chief of staff called and said the mayor would not be vetoing it," said Holland.

But that will not stop the local community from reacting to the city council's vote from two weeks ago.

"If they can guarantee us that they can have it as an early voting site that's one thing but when Jerry Holland said he wanted to move to the Supervisor of Election everything was great," said R.L. Gundy, Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

The main concern is that closing the Gateway location will cut off locals -- particularly the African American community -- many of whom rely on the bus system to vote early.

"We've also said that we are going to stay voting in the Gateway community we've located not just Gateway but two other public building one you can see from the parking lot Gateway so we're going to be in that community and we're committed to it," said Holland.

The mayor is expected to sign the lease for the Imeson office Wednesday.

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