Early voting for the March 11 elections ended Sunday evening with 5,520 ballots cast – a small number when compared to the 119,797 mail ballots returned thus far to one of three Elections offices.
Pinellas County voters are making their choices in a special election to pick a new U.S. Representative for District 13 to replace C.W. “Bill” Young, who died Oct. 18. Young served Pinellas in Congress for nearly 43 years.
Municipalities conducting elections are Belleair Bluffs, Clearwater, Gulfport, Indian Shores, Kenneth City, Madeira Beach, Pinellas Park, Redington Shores, Safety Harbor, South Pasadena, St. Pete Beach and Tarpon Springs.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 11. Voters from 237 precincts will cast their ballots in one of 174 assigned polling places.
According to a fact sheet from the Elections Office, 477,635 registered voters are eligible to take part in the District 13 special election as well as 12 municipal elections. Of that number, 460,600 can vote in the District 13 election – 170,565 Republicans (37 percent), 159,213 Democrats (34.6 percent), and 130,822 registered as minor party or no party affiliation (28.4 percent).
As of Sunday, March 9, 119,797 (59.5 percent) of 201,199 mail ballots distributed had been returned to an Elections Office.
In the race for U.S. Representative for District 13, 43 percent of 79,001 ballots distributed to registered Republicans had been returned. Democrats had returned 38 percent of 72,423 ballots. Nineteen percent of 43,501 ballots distributed to voters registered as “other” had been returned.
The deadline to request a ballot by mail was March 5. Ballots can be picked up at any Elections Office through March 10. Voters who need to pick up a ballot on Election Day must sign an emergency affidavit, stating that the person is unable to go to a polling place and why.
Mail ballots must be returned by 7 p.m. March 11 to an Elections Office. They cannot be returned to a polling place. Mail ballots can be returned at remote ballot drop-off locations, including tax collector offices in Clearwater and St. Petersburg as well as Seminole and Pinellas Park libraries. More information on how to return ballots are included with the mail ballot kits.
Elections offices are at the following locations:
• Election Service Center, 13001 Starkey Road., Largo (Starkey Lakes Corporate Center)
• Pinellas County Courthouse, 315 Court St., Room 117, Clearwater (first floor, north side)
• County Building, 501 First Ave. N., St. Petersburg (entrance on 5th Street)