How to vote for Jacksonville’s next sheriff


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Voters will already be headed to the polls on that date for local and statewide elections, including the gubernatorial primaries.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville City Council decided Monday that a special election will be held in August to find a new permanent Sheriff of Jacksonville.

Because there are more than two candidates filing to run, if none of the candidates receive more than 50% of the vote on Aug. 23, there will be a runoff to decide who the new sheriff will be on Nov. 8.

Voters will already be headed to the polls on that date for local and statewide elections, including the gubernatorial primaries.

The race for sheriff will now be added to that ballot.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams announced his retirement, effective June 10, last week. The decision came after Williams told reporters he had moved to Nassau County over a year ago and planned to live there for the foreseeable future. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the special election for sheriff in August. 

Who’s running for sheriff?

RELATED: Here are the candidates in the running for the position of Jacksonville sheriff

Matthew Nemeth, Republican

Nemeth has said he wanted to be a police officer ever since he was a child. He began that career in 1987 after a school friend visited his Michigan home from Fort Lauderdale and showed him his badge. He became a 20-year-old Broward County corrections office before transferring five years later to the Pompano Beach Police Department. After five years there, he moved to Jacksonville and joined JSO in 1996.

Chief of Investigations T.K. Waters has devoted 30 years to law enforcement. Waters began his career as a corrections officer in 1991 before transferring to patrol in 1993. The son of a U.S. Army sergeant major, Waters moved where his father was stationed as he grew up, graduating from the Wurzburg-American High School in West Germany. He received his Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a minor in Homeland Security, from Virginia’s Liberty University.

Sheriff’s Office Assistant Chief Lakesha Burton says that resilience will help her as the first Black woman to run for sheriff in Jacksonville. The 22-year department veteran has a master’s degree in criminology from Florida Metropolitan University in 2004. The Sheriff’s Office gave her its Six Pillars of Character Award for her traits of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. She was promoted to lieutenant in 2013, only the second Black police officer selected for that rank.

Wayne Clark is a lifelong Jacksonville resident who is completely invested in the success of all communities of Jacksonville. In 1980, at 18 years old, Wayne’s law enforcement career began as a volunteer police reserve officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Wayne worked in JSO Corrections, before becoming a police officer in 1983.

Tony Cummings is a native of Jacksonville with 25-years of law enforcement experience, who has called the First Coast his home for over 40-years. Cummings earned his Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. He also holds a graduate degree in Organizational Management and undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Criminal Justice.

Ken Jefferson has served his community as a law enforcement officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) for 24 years. During his illustrious career, he experienced and was exposed to all aspects of the department. After being hired by JSO in 1986, Ken patrolled our streets vigorously, responding to calls for service from the public, building relationships with members of the community, and routinely implementing problem-solving methods to combat recurring crime trends.

RELATED: Gov. DeSantis appoints Pat Ivey as Jacksonville Interim Sheriff

Three ways to vote in Duval County

To vote from the convenience of home, a voter may request a Vote-by-Mail ballot. Use the online request form or call our the Supervisor of Election’s Office  at 904-255-8683. Ballots must be received at the office at 105 E. Monroe St. by 7:00 pm Election Day. For more information, go to the Vote by Mail page.

Voting before Election Day is available at various locations throughout Duval County. Please present a photo and signature identification. A voter may vote at any early voting location. See the Early Voting Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

On Election Day, the polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. If you are in line by 7 p.m. you will be allowed to vote. Voters are required to vote at the assigned precinct of his/her legal residence. Go to our Precinct Finder to see the location of your polling place. A photo and signature identification is required. For more information, go to the Election Day Voting page.

Where to vote on election day?

Follow the directions on this website to find your Election Day polling place. You will need to type in your house number and as you enter your street name slowly, the system will prompt you with the valid street names found in Duval County. You do not need to enter the direction or street type.

Before going to vote

Review your voter registration card – Your Voter Information Card provides your precinct number and polling place, as well as other information contained in your voter registration record. All registered voters were recently mailed a new card. If you did not receive your card, contact the Supervisor of Elections Office (904-255-8683)

Check your sample ballot – Your sample ballot is based on your legal residence address and party affiliation (in primary elections), and will be mailed approximately three weeks prior to Election Day. If you would like your sample ballot emailed, please notify the Supervisor of Elections Office.

What to bring  – If you choose to vote in person during the Early Voting period or on Election Day, you must present your CURRENT and VALID photo identification (ID) along with a signature ID. A voter may present two separate forms of ID, one with a photo on it from the list below and another with a signature (may or may not be from the list below). Example: Photo on Student ID and signature on credit card; or photo on Military ID and signature on a library card are acceptable.

The photo ID must be from the list below:
• Florida Driver License
• Florida ID Card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
• United States Passport or Passport Card
• Debit or Credit Card
• Military ID
• Student ID
• Retirement Center ID
• Neighborhood Association ID
• Public Assistance ID
• Veteran health ID Card
• License to carry a concealed weapon or firearm
• Government issued Employee ID Card.

A Voter Information Card may not be used as ID at the polls. If you do not present the required ID at the polls, you may vote a provisional ballot. If you do not have any of the acceptable forms of ID listed above, please contact the Elections Office for assistance.

RELATED: City Attorney: Sheriff Mike Williams should be paid for the past year, though he ‘vacated’ his position in March 2021

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