Elections office prepares for Aug. 26 primary

— The official sample ballot for the Aug. 26 primary election was mailed Monday to about 250,000 addresses.

“Voters can preview the races and mark their choices right on the sample ballot,” Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark said in a news release. “Then, voters can bring the sample ballot with them on Election Day.”

Florida has closed primaries. Only voters registered with a political party may vote in that party’s primary. A universal primary contest is an exception and occurs when all qualified candidates are registered with the same political party. Therefore, all eligible registered voters may cast ballots regardless of party affiliation. The county commission District 6 race is a universal primary contest. The candidate who receives the most votes will be elected to the post.

All registered voters may vote in the nonpartisan judicial and school board contests.

The sample ballot contains all races for Republican, Democratic and nonpartisan primaries, including some contests that will appear only on the actual ballot in certain precincts. Clark encourages voters to check their current voter information card to determine which districts will be on their ballots and whether they’re eligible to vote in a political party’s primary.

Voters also may visit to view their precinct-specific ballots or call (727) 464-8683 for their current voting districts.

Completed mail ballots may be dropped off at any elections office or designated location during specified days and hours.

Supervisor of Elections Office hours are as follows:

• 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Friday;

• Saturday through Aug. 24, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday;

• 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 25;

• 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Election Day, Aug. 26.

Days and hours vary at these remote ballot drop-off locations. All are closed Election Day.

• Five tax collector offices, open weekdays, 743 Pinellas Ave. S., Tarpon Springs; 29399 U.S. 19 N. (near Curlew Road); 1663 Gulf to Bay Blvd., Clearwater; 1800 66th St. N., St. Petersburg; and 1067 62nd Ave. S., St. Petersburg.

• Five public libraries, open weekdays and Saturdays, 4125 East Lake Road, Palm Harbor; 400 St. Petersburg Drive E., Oldsmar; 9200 113th St. N., Seminole; 7770 52nd St., Pinellas Park; and 1059 18th Ave. S., St. Petersburg.

• Centre of Palm Harbor, 1500 16th St., open weekdays and Saturdays.

• Gulfport Neighborhood Center, 1617 49th St. S., open weekdays.

Election employees are stationed with secure ballot boxes inside each location to assist and hand out “I Voted” stickers.

The deadline to request a ballot to be mailed is 5 p.m. Wednesday. Ballots also may be picked up at supervisor of elections offices.

Mail ballot pickup and voting in elections offices on Election Day is permitted only if there’s an emergency. A new state law requires that a voter or a designee must sign an affidavit affirming that the voter is unable to go to his/her polling place on Election Day and must provide the reason for the emergency. This affidavit and the information provided becomes a public record when submitted to the elections supervisor.

Voters may track their ballot status online at to find out the date the ballot was mailed and received.

All ballots must be received at an elections office or ballot drop-off location by 7 p.m. on Election Day. All accepted mail ballots are included in election results.

Early voting will be conducted Saturday through Aug. 24 at all supervisor of elections offices. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Early voting locations are:

• 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).

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