On Tuesday, St. Petersburg residents will get the chance to whittle down a competitive field of mayoral and City Council hopefuls by casting their vote.
As of midday Monday, more than 35,000 mail-in ballots had already been cast in the St. Petersburg primary, equal to about 18 percent of all eligible voters.
It isn’t too late for registered voters to have their say. Here’s what to know about Tuesday’s election.
What am I voting for?
Every registered voter across the city can vote for one of the candidates running for mayor.
Those candidates include City Council member Robert Blackmon, restaurateur Pete Boland, University of South Florida St. Petersburg student Michael Ingram, St. Petersburg native Torry Nelson, former state representative and City Council member Wengay Newton, small business owner Marcile Powers, City Council member Darden Rice and former Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch. Michael Levinson is running as a write-in candidate.
Residents in Districts 1, 4 and 8 also have City Council races on their ballots.
In District 1, Ed Carlson, Copley Gerdes, John Hornbeck and Bobbie Shay Lee are vying to replace Blackmon on City Council after he announced he would step down to run for mayor.
In District 4, Jarib Figueredo, Lisset Hanewicz, Clifford Hobbs III, Tom Mullins and Doug O’Dowd are all vying to succeed Rice.
In District 8, Jeff Danner, Richie Floyd, Dane Kuplicki and Jamie Mayo are running to replace City Council member Amy Foster, who is term-limited.
In each of those three districts, the top two vote-getters will move on to the Nov. 2 general election.
St. Petersburg’s website has a map of district boundaries on its website at egis.stpete.org/citymain/. Residents can also find boundary maps by district on the City Council page of the city’s website, stpete.org.
Sample ballots can be found at the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections website, VotePinellas.com.
How do I vote?
Those who plan to vote in person on Tuesday can do so from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at their assigned precinct. Polling places for the municipal election may be different than those for county elections. Voters can visit VotePinellas.com and click on the “Find Precinct” button to find their voting location, or they can call the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Office at 727-464-8683.
Voters who have not yet voted their vote-by-mail ballot should not put it in the mail at this point, as ballots must be received by 7 p.m. Tuesday to be counted. Instead, voters can drop off their completed mail ballots at one of the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections office locations: 13001 Starkey Road in Largo; 315 Court St., Room 117, in Clearwater; or 501 First Ave. North in St. Petersburg.
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.
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The deadline to register to vote in the St. Petersburg municipal primary election was July 26.
What happens after polls close?
If no candidate in the mayoral field earns more than 50 percent of the votes, the two with the most votes will move on to the general election on Nov. 2.
For City Council, in the three districts with more than two candidates, the top two vote-getters will move on to the general election.