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Over 104K votes now cast ahead of Pinellas County, St. Pete elections

In early voting for Pinellas County and the St. Petersburg municipal elections, more than 104,000 people have now cast a ballot.

As of Wednesday morning, Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark posted new early vote and vote-by-mail numbers; of by-mail voting out of 265,039 mail ballots sent, about 39 percent – 103,936 – returned. Adding in the 635 countywide in-person votes so far, the total now stands at 104,571.

By party, 40,309 Democrats, 44,246 Republicans and 20,016 NPR/other have cast votes both in person and by mail.

For the St. Petersburg mayoral and City Council races, there were 28,884 ballots returned of 67,478 mailed (just under 41 percent). Early in-person voters accounted for another 353 votes in the municipal race.

Also before Pinellas voters are two council seats in Seminole, a waterfront referendum in Clearwater and Dunedin charter amendments, as well as a countywide ballot to reauthorize the Penny for Pinellas sales tax.

According to Clark’s office, there are 639,329 registered voters eligible to vote in this election: 228,352 Republicans, 227,200 Democrats and 183,777 NPA/other. This means about 16 percent of all voters have cast early mail-in ballots.

Incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman faces former two-term Mayor Rick Baker. Most recent polling puts Kriseman with a slight lead, by less than a single point (46.8 to 46.0 percent). While it is the first time in the race that Kriseman is leading in public polling, it is within the +/- 3.9 percent margin of error, making the race a statistical tie.

In St. Pete City Council District 6, businessman Justin Bean faces community activist Gina Driscoll in a race for the seat in one of the most diverse sections of the city. District 6 includes downtown and parts of the Old Northeast and Midtown, the historic African-American neighborhood. Polling has Driscoll leading Bean 45-27 percent, with about 29 percent undecided.

For District 2, the race is between Relator Brandi Gabbard and Barclay Harless, a St. Petersburg banking executive. Gabbard has about a 20-point lead over Harless, new polling shows. Thirty percent are undecided.

In District 4, college student Jerick Johnston faces incumbent Councilmember Darden Rice, who also holds a comfortable lead with 56 percent.

Early in-person voting is now through Sunday, Nov. 5, at the Supervisor of Elections Offices: 315 Court St, Room 117, in Clearwater; 13001 Starkey Rd, Largo (Starkey Lakes Corporate Center) and 501 First Ave. N (Fifth St. N Entrance), St. Petersburg. Office hours are Monday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Early voting hours are Monday-Friday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Voters can go to any early voting site to cast a ballot. To vote a regular ballot, voters must present both picture and signature identification. Those who do not bring both types of ID can vote by provisional ballot.

Deadline for requesting a mail ballot is 5 p.m. today, Nov. 1; mail ballots must be received by 7 p.m. Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 7, at one of the Pinellas elections offices. Election Day hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

 For more information and a list of polling places, visit votepinellas.com.

Written By

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist, editor and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range included covering news, local government and entertainment reviews for Patch.com, technical articles, and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine as well as advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached at phil.ammann@gmail.com.

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