New elections official misses first election

Sunday morning, Historic City News learned that newly appointed Supervisor of Elections, Vicky Oakes, was taken ill and required hospitalization.

“She is still hospitalized,” Assistant Supervisor of Elections Wayne Fusco told editor Michael Gold this morning. “Thankfully, this is not a life-threatening incident, and, with any luck, she’ll be out later this week.”

Oakes illness did fall ill at a bad time — polls opened this morning at 7:00 a.m. for the Special Democratic Primary Election necessitated by the resignation of Florida Senator Tony Hill. Today’s election would have been Oakes first official election as St. Johns County’s Supervisor of Elections.

Between e-mail, texting and telephone calls, we were told that Oakes is actively engaged is today’s events. The majority of Oakes staff is part of a veteran elections team that was assembled over the years by retired supervisor Penny Halyburton.

“We know how much Vicky wants to be here today, however a healthy recovery is most important,” Fusco said. “I am briefing her throughout the day.”

Administratively, the Election process continues unabated with Fusco and Chief Deputy Erika Ward at the helm. Ward has been appointed by the Chief Judge of the 7th Judicial Circuit to temporarily fill in for the Supervisor of Elections on the Canvassing Board.

“Polls will close tonight at 7:00 p.m.,” Fusco said. “We are seeing a light election turnout, as anticipated — only 13 of St. Johns County precincts are eligible to vote.”

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