Write-in candidates close six primaries
The presence of write-in candidates will close six primary elections for legislative seats this year, preventing some voters from casting ballots.
Under state law, all voters are able to cast ballots in a primary if the candidates are from the same party. But when a write-in candidate enters such a race, it closes the primary.
For example, if a district has two Republican candidates and a write-in, only registered Republicans can vote in the closed primary. Without the write-in, all voters — regardless of whether they are registered Republicans — could cast ballots in the primary.
After the qualifying period for this year’s elections ended Friday, one Senate race and five House races will have closed primaries because of write-in candidates. They include Northeast Florida’s Senate District 7, where Sen. Travis Hutson, R-St. Augustine, faces a challenge from fellow Republican Gerry James and two write-ins.
The other races are an open seat in House District 3 in Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties, where two Republicans and a write-in qualified; an open seat in Duval County’s House District 14, where four Democrats and a write-in qualified; an open seat in House District 15 in Duval and Nassau counties, where two Republicans and a write-in qualified; an open seat in Duval County’s House District 16, where three Republicans and two write-ins qualified; and an open seat in House District 30 in Volusia and Brevard counties, where two Republicans and a write-in qualified.
Write-in candidates rarely receive more than a handful of votes during general elections.