Polling places at 174 locations open Tuesday morning at 7 and close at 7 p.m.
Registered voters have one last opportunity to cast a ballot in the March 11 elections. Polling places at 174 locations open Tuesday morning at 7 and close at 7 p.m.
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. All municipalities are within Congressional District 13 except Tarpon Springs.
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).
Early voting ended Sunday evening with 5,520 ballots cast. At of close of business Monday, another 122,558 had voted by mail ballot.
• State law requires that registered voters cast their ballot in the precinct in which they reside. A voter who has moved is required to vote in his or her new home precinct.
• Some polling place locations have changed. Voters are encouraged to confirm their polling places by visiting www.votepinellas.com or calling 464-VOTE (8683).
• Voters should bring photo and signature identification to the polls if possible to avoid delays. Anyone without valid and current ID may vote a provisional ballot. The canvassing board will later determine the validity of any provisional ballots.
• Address changes from another Florida county made at the polls require the voter to vote a provisional ballot, except for active military voters and their family members. Make address changes online at www.votepinellas.com, or by calling 464-VOTE or emailing email@example.com; include date of birth.
• Name changes may be made by sending a signed, written statement to the Supervisor of Elections; include date of birth or voter ID number.
• Signature updates may be made by completing and signing a voter registration application, available at www.votepinellas.com, and returning it to the Supervisor of Elections.
• It is important to have your current signature on file so that the signature on your mail ballot certificate envelope can be verified.
• A voter who requests a mail ballot but later decides to vote at the polling place must bring his or her ballot to the polling place to be canceled. A new ballot will be issued.
• No political activity or campaign signs are allowed inside the polling place or within 100 feet of the polling place entrance or elections office entrance. Exit polling is permitted in designated areas as voters are leaving the polls.
• No photography is allowed inside the polling place.
As of Monday, March 10, 122,558 (60.9 percent) of 201,369 mail ballots distributed had been returned to an Elections Office.
In the race for U.S. Representative for District 13, 43 percent of 79,094 ballots distributed to registered Republicans had been returned. Democrats had returned 38 percent of 72,481 ballots. Nineteen percent of 43,517 ballots distributed to voters registered as “other” had been returned.
Voters in several municipalities have returned more than 70 percent of mail ballots distributed, including Redington Shores at 75.6 percent, St. Pete Beach at 72.8 percent, St. Pete Beach District 1 at 71.5 percent, St. Pete Beach District 3 at 71.4 percent and South Pasadena at 70.6 percent. The municipality with the fewest mail ballots returned is Tarpon Springs with 44.1 percent, followed by Pinellas Park with 56.8 percent and Clearwater with 57.1 percent.
Voters with an emergency can still pick up a ballot on Election Day, but due to a new state law, they 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 Fifth Street)
Unofficial results will be reported at TBNweekly.com as soon as all precincts have reported. A new state law requires that all overseas ballots received during the 10-day period after the election be counted. Previous law required counting votes in federal races only.
Official election results cannot be certified until votes from the 10-day overseas ballots are added to unofficial results, and the earliest that can occur is the 10th day after the election. The deadline to certify official election results is noon on the 12th day after the election.