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Julie Marcus wins Pinellas supervisor of elections

The supervisor of elections is tasked with running federal, state and local elections in Pinellas county.
Supervisor Julie Marcus updates canvassing board with the latest voter turnout numbers Tuesday, saying she was happy to see good turnout in Pinellas County.
Supervisor Julie Marcus updates canvassing board with the latest voter turnout numbers Tuesday, saying she was happy to see good turnout in Pinellas County. [ JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times ]
Published Nov. 4, 2020|Updated Nov. 5, 2020

Julie Marcus will stay Pinellas County supervisor of elections, according to unofficial results, holding nearly 58 percent of the vote.

Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed her to the job in May after the retirement of longtime elections supervisor Deborah Clark.

“I’m beside myself,” Marcus, 44, said. It’s one of the most humbling experiences ever. You have voters putting their trust in you."

Marcus, a Republican, faced Democratic challenger Dan Helm, 35, an attorney who has long had an interest in voting rights.

Helm held 42 percent of returns.

The supervisor is tasked with ensuring secure and seamless elections in Pinellas County, whether federal elections or local municipal races. Winners are elected to four-year terms and earn a salary set by state formula, which is $170,065 for fiscal year 2020-21.

This was both candidates' first run for public office.

Marcus started working in the Supervisor of Elections Office in 2002 under Clark. She has touted her experience in an office that must navigate complex federal and state rules and ensure equitable access to voting. Marcus has followed in Clark’s footsteps championing the use of vote-by-mail ballots, and said she believes in educating citizens about voter registration and their voting options.

Helm focused his campaign on expanding the number of early voting sites in the county and increasing transparency and security in the elections process.

Earlier this year, Helm was one of several plaintiffs in a lawsuit that sought to force elections officials to preserve digital images of every ballot. The case was put on hold after the sides agreed to defer the suit in exchange for elections officials promising to preserve ballot images if there’s a recount in the 2020 general election.

Related: Florida counties agree to save digital ballot images if there's a presidential recount

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