St. Petersburg voters: it’s election time again.
More than 95,000 mail ballots are headed this week to domestic voters’ mailboxes ahead of the city’s municipal primary election. Another 1,400 have already been sent to absent military and overseas voters.
Once received, the ballots can immediately be filled out and returned.
The ballot for the Aug. 24 municipal primary election includes eight names vying to become the city’s next mayor. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters will advance to a Nov. 2 general election.
In addition to City Council members Darden Rice and Robert Blackmon, former Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch, former state representative Wengay Newton, restaurateur Pete Boland, small business owner Marcile Powers, University of South Florida St. Petersburg student Michael Ingram and St. Petersburg native Torry Nelson, write-in candidate Michael S. Levinson is also hoping to replace outgoing Mayor Rick Kriseman.
Voters can vote by mail or in person on Aug. 24.
Mail ballots need to get to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections office by 7 p.m. on Aug. 24 to be counted. They can be dropped off or mailed to any of three elections supervisor offices, but can’t be accepted at polling places. Voters who choose to mail in their ballots should allow at least one week for the ballot to arrive, Dustin Chase, Pinellas deputy elections supervisor, said in a press release.
Voters can still request a vote-by-mail ballot by calling the Pinellas County Supervisors of Elections at 727-464-VOTE (8683) or emailing MailBallot@VotePinellas.gov. The deadline is 5 p.m. on Aug. 16.
Florida’s controversial new voting law now requires people requesting vote-by-mail ballots to provide a Florida driver’s license, Florida identification card number or the last four digits of their Social Security number.
The law won’t affect many St. Petersburg residents voting in this primary election, Chase told the Tampa Bay Times.
“Anyone who has a mail ballot request already on file will not have to request a mail ballot,” Chase said.
Voters who receive a vote-by-mail ballot can still opt to vote in person instead. A voter choosing to do this should bring their mail ballot with them to the polling place and surrender it to an election worker, the elections office said. But if a voter does not bring the mail ballot with them, they can still vote in person if election workers can confirm that the voter has not already voted by mail.
The deadline to register to vote in the St. Petersburg municipal primary election is July 26. People can register online at RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov, by mail or in person at the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections office.