PALM BEACH COUNTY — Running a primary election in Palm Beach County is no picnic — the voting gets especially complicated in such a huge place. The primary of Aug. 18, 2020, is under way now in most counties around the lake, and western Palm Beach County residents in various places will vote in different races.
Inside the four ZIP codes making up the Glades Region alone on Palm Beach County’s “other coast,” there are 21 precincts. In each precinct, voters (depending on their registered party affiliation) may choose among three ballots — Democratic, Republican or Independent, and several languages. Ballots are printed in English and Spanish, and Haitian Creole ballots also are available because of the large percentage of Caribbean island speakers of other languages in the Glades. That means there are 63 different “basic” ballots.
What makes it so complicated are all the overlapping boundaries of the people’s representatives’ districts — congressional and state legislative (Florida House and Senate), county commission, school board, inlet districts, Port of Palm Beach Group 2 and 3 seats, etc., meaning some voters will vote in certain races that perhaps their neighbors will not.
Races from top to bottom
The primary ballot in Palm Beach includes the U.S. House, 20th Congressional District of Florida race. Democrats will choose between incumbent U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick; Republicans will choose between Vic Degrammont and Greg Musselwhite.
In the Florida State Senate District 29 race, Democrats will choose between Rep. Tina Polsky and Irving Slosberg.
In the Florida House District 81 race, Democrats will choose between Kelly Skidmore and Michael Weinstein. Republicans will choose between Saulis Banions and Silmo Moura.
All voters in Palm Beach County will participate in universal primaries. These include the nonpartisan judge races:
• 15th Judicial Circuit judge, Group 16: Candidates are Jeffrey Gillen and Henry Quinn Johnson;
• 15th Judicial Circuit judge, Group 30: Candidates are Jaimie Goodman, Adam Myron and Caryn Siperstein; and
• 15th Judicial Circuit judge, Group 12: Candidates are Jaianna Seaborne and Debra Moses Stephens; also,
• In the Palm Beach County supervisor of elections race (an open Democratic primary, meaning everyone can vote; the winner is elected to the seat, there being no Republican candidate for the November general election ballot), the candidates are Paulette V. Armstead and Wendy Sartory Link; and
• All precincts will choose in the Democratic primary for Palm Beach County sheriff between Ric Bradshaw and Alex Freeman. The winner faces Republican Lauro Diaz on Nov. 3.
Democratic primaries (closed)
Some state party committeemen and women will be on the ballots in various precincts; check the sample ballot for your precinct for those races.
• Some precincts will choose in the Democratic primary for the 18th Congressional District nominee between Pam Keith and Oz Vazquez.
• Some precincts will choose a Democratic candidate for the State Senate District 25 seat between Corinna Balderramos Robinson and Reinaldo Daniel Diaz.
The Glades Region of Palm Beach County takes in four ZIP codes and 21 precincts: ZIP codes 33430 (Belle Glade and part of South Bay); 33493 (South Bay); 33476 (Pahokee); and 33438 (Canal Point) belong to Palm Beach County voting precincts 1002 and 6002 through 6038.
For this story, the precinct ballots checked were for Precincts 1002, 6002, 6004, 6006, 6008, 6010, 6012, 6014, 6016, 6018, 6020, 6022, 6024, 6026, 6028, 6029, 6030, 6032, 6034, 6036 and 6038.