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We’ve come up short … This time.

Fall elections will save hundreds of thousands of dollars and increase voter participation, which are both great for Gainesville. Three months ago we decided to take on the challenge of gathering 7,463 signatures in 90 days so as to give voters a say on it in November. 
We started with minimal funding and a handful of volunteers. While we fell short of the number of signatures needed, nearly 5,000 people did sign a petition. People overwhelmingly support the idea, and that’s why we came as close as we did. 
Thanks are due everyone who contributed a signature, time or money to the effort and we want to assure everyone that this is just the start. 

Should they choose to, the City Commission still has the power to put this question on November’s ballot. In the event that doesn’t happen, we will immediately begin planning another qualifying effort. With what we’ve learned and with the broad support this idea has earned, we are confident it will succeed. 

Again, many thanks to ALL who have been involved. You’ll hear more from us soon!

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The Petition in PDF Format

Here is a PDF copy of the petition, just in case. Click the link and it will open in PDF format for your downloading pleasure. Again, once you’ve completed it, please mail to:

Gainesville Votes! PO Box 12873 Gainesville, FL 32604

Gainesville Votes petition

Thanks!

The Petition is Live!

Are  you ready to move Gainesville city elections to the Fall? We need your help now!

If you are a registered voter in the City of Gainesville, please download, print and complete the petition you see in this post. When you’re finished, you may mail it to:

Gainesville Votes! PO Box 12873 Gainesville, FL 32604

We’ll be sure it gets to the Supervisor of Elections office, and when we have 7,463, you’ll find this on your ballot as early as November, 2016.

Thank you!

petition gnv votes

SOE Approves Petition!

Supervisor of Elections Approves Petition for Gainesville Votes!
Community Given 90 Days to Collect 7,463 Signatures to Move City Elections

Gainesville voters have until May 29 to place a referendum as early as the Fall, 2016 ballot that will move city commission elections from an annual spring process to the Fall of even years.

Earlier this week Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Pam Carpenter approved petition language submitted by organizers from Gainesville Votes!, which started a 90-day clock for them to collect completed petitions from 7,463 registered Gainesville voters.

“We’ve been working on this, building support and laying the groundwork, for nearly two years,” said Gainesville Votes! spokesperson Harvey Ward. “We’re excited to take this to the voters for support. The idea is to move elections to the fall and keep them non-partisan. We believe this will increase voter turnout, save money and align Gainesville with other elections.”

If they are successful, the question will be put to voters on the ballot this November.

“We propose following the model successfully used by the Alachua County School Board: Non-partisan elections occurring in August (alongside county, state and federal primaries) of every even year. When a run-off is necessary, it would be held on the first Tuesday in November along with county, state and federal elections,” Ward said.

The city of Gainesville currently spends $230,000 each year for municipal spring elections, with a voter turnout consistently in the low teens. By contrast, the City of Tallahassee spends less than $90,000 every other year and has experienced voter turnout in excess of 70%.

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Gainesville Sun Supports Moving Elections

Who supports the idea of moving Gainesville City elections? The Gainesville Sun does! In this piece from 2014, the Sun editorial board writes, “If we want a City Commission really representative of the city, we should move their races to the same time that other elections are held.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Who else has written about this in the Sun? Ron Cunningham had this to say: “The upside to including Gainesville races in the general election cycle is that … well, more people are likely to vote. Right now, anything above a 20 percent spring turnout is considered robust. Also, the city would save money. Holding annual city elections when nothing else is on the ballot is expensive — in effect, we city taxpayers are subsidizing low turnouts.”

Former Gainesville Mayor Jim Painter and former Gainesville City Commissioner Jeanna Mastrodicasa wrote, “We are working to set in motion a bipartisan effort to move the city of Gainesville elections to fall, to get a higher turnout of voters and to save money.”

What is Gainesville Votes?

WHO are we? 

We are Gainesville residents working to reform Gainesville elections.

WHAT are we trying to accomplish?

Gainesville currently holds elections each spring and only city races are on the ballot.

Turnout for these spring elections is abysmal. In April of 2015, less than 12% of registered voters cast ballots!

Spring elections are also expensive. Gainesville spends $230,000 each year just to hold its own elections

We know Gainesville can do better!

Holding city elections at the same time voters cast ballots for other local, state and federal candidates will improve turnout and lower costs.

HOW will this happen?

Gainesville Votes is working to move Gainesville elections to the fall, so that every voter can cast a ballot at the same time he or she votes.

Specifically, Gainesville Votes is working to establish a first election in August of every even year and a run-off, if necessary, in November of each even year.

This schedule is the same as the Alachua County School Board. City elections would continue to be non-partisan.

Once in place, new city commission terms would be four years. No city commissioner would have his or her term lengthened or shortened by this change.

WHEN can this happen?

With your help, Gainesville Votes can put this important decision before voters on the November 2016 ballot.