@WORK: David Thomas


Published: Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 10:36 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 10:36 p.m.

David Thomas will have a busy evening on Jan. 31, shuffling to upload results as candidates for the Gainesville City Commission and Republican presidential primary and their supporters wait anxiously. The role even earned him the nickname “Update Dave” a few years ago while he worked to get the updated returns online.

Since 2008, Thomas has been the elections information specialist for Supervisor of Elections Pam Carpenter, working with citizens and candidates on public-records requests, maintaining the department's website, testing equipment and dealing with data to build maps that define political boundaries.

The rest of the month and all of 2012 have plenty in store for Thomas and the elections staff. Voter registration for the Jan. 31 elections closes on Tuesday, and later this year the Legislature will determine congressional and legislative boundaries.

And there will be County Commission, legislative, congressional, senatorial and presidential elections on Nov. 16.

What candidates request: Absentee and voter data are the most commonly requested information for this and most every election. Candidates want to identify voters who are most likely to participate in the election process.

How lines are redrawn: Congressional lines are drawn by the state Legislature, whose session begins Jan. 10. The final boundaries will be reviewed by the Justice Department and courts. Once approved, the Supervisor of Elections will mail out information to all voters detailing the changes to their districts. This will happen after the presidential preference primary but before the fall elections.

What voters need: Florida law requires that you bring a picture and signature ID or you will need to vote a provisional ballot. Acceptable forms of ID include a Florida driver's license, Florida ID card (issued by DMV), U.S. passport, debit/dredit card, military ID, student ID, retirement center ID, neighborhood association ID, or a public-assistance ID. Florida law also requires that you vote in the precinct of your legal residence, so be sure we have your correct address on file.

On historic data: Currently, digital results go back to the late 1990s and are available on our website at www.votealachua.com. Given that our office rarely receives requests for results beyond that point and that some of those past results are in formats that would require significant time to convert, there are no plans for a conversion of all past results. Although they may not be in digital form, all election results are available to the public.

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