Elections officials are confident that a wide variety of political races and ballot issues will bring voters out in high numbers on Tuesday, Nov. 8, for 1994's general election.
Alachua County voters will be handed three full ballot cards when they head into the booth. About 60 percent of the county's registered voters are expected to vote on races ranging from Alachua County's commission and school board to the governor's office.
Supervisor of Elections Beverly Hill estimates it could take about five minutes for each voter to register all the decisions. She said she's prepared with extra people and supplies.
"We're trying to put enough poll workers and booths in that it won't take too long" to wait to vote, she said. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
There are two key issues expected to attract those in Alachua County, Hill said: the governor's race between incumbent Lawton Chiles and GOP challenger Jeb Bush, and two issues concerning the inclusion of gays and lesbians in Alachua County's discrimination ordinances.
Hill said the governor's race traditionally brings the voters out. In 1990, when Chiles beat Republican Gov. Bob Martinez, there was a 64 percent turnout in the county. In 1986, 61.8 percent of local voters cast ballots.
All Alachua County residents can vote in the races for county commission and school board. Three-time Commissioner Leveda Brown is challenged by Republican Holly Jensen, while political newcomers Bill Cake, a Democrat, and Virgin ia Zele, a Republican, are running for a school board seat.
The governor's race has received most of the attention, but six state Cabinet posts also are on the ballot. They are: secretary of state, attorney general, comptroller, treasurer, and commissioners of education and agriculture.
All Florida voters can decide on these races, as well as the Senate race between Republican Sen. Connie Mack and Democrat Hugh Rodham.
Floridians also will be asked about the merit retention of two Supreme Court justices: Stephen H. Grimes and Gerald Kogan. North Florida voters will be asked to decide if several appeals judges should be retained on the 1st District Court of Appeals, including Stephan P. Mickle, a former Gainesville resident and a judge in the 8th circuit.
State races up for grabs include: the House District 23 race between Cynthia Chestnut, D-Gainesville, and Willis R. "Bill" Glass, a McIntosh Republican; the District 22 race between incumbent Bob Casey, R-Gainesville, and Rob Denson, D-Gainesville. District 4 Sen. Charles Williams, a Democrat, is opposed by Republican George Onett.
Several congressional races also are up this year. Karen Thurman, a Dunnellon Democrat representing District 5, is challenged by Republican "Big Daddy" Don Garlits of Belleview. Jacksonville residents Corrine Brown, the incumbent Democrat, and Republican Mark Little face off in the U.S. House District 3 race.
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