There may be no Democratic Party primary for school superintendent this August. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, City Commissioner Scott Maddox says he’s considering dropping out of the race for superintendent. Instead, he would run to keep his seat on the city commission.
Maddox is challenging Superintendent Jackie Pons in the Aug. 30 primary election. However, if Maddox drops out, Pons wins his party’s contest by default, and there would be no primary.
Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho said this switch could be tricky for voters to understand.
He spelled it out on WFSU's Perspectives:
"That means that there’s no election on Aug. 30, because there’s no contested primary," Sancho said. "That means that all the candidates that are left in that race will go to Nov. 8, because there’s one Republican, two no party affiliates and one Democrat. So there’s a four person ballot, plurality wins on Nov. 8. But if that person hadn’t changed, there would be an Aug. 30 primary."
Sancho said it's important for voters to be familiar with voting laws, because in this case one candidate's actions could affect the entire Democratic race.
“So the permutations of just one individual making a change can have an impact all through this process, but citizens are not well educated," Sancho said.
Maddox has until next Friday at noon to decide if he wants to stay in the superintendent race.
Sancho said that overall, the Florida legislature needs to do a better job informing voters about election laws, instead of putting responsibility on election supervisors and residents.
"It really puts a burden on citizens to know what is the law," Sancho said. "Then when you look at the states, the state of Florida prints no information for the citizens. You get no booklet from the secretary of state or the Florida legislature telling you what the laws are, and the laws are complicated."