Three hours into Election Day voter turnout was at a trickle. According to a volunteer with the Will Newton campaign, only a handful of voters had shown up to cast a ballot at the Thomas “Jet” Jackson Recreation Center – or what used to be Wildwood.
And according to the Pinellas County Supervisor of elections office, voter turnout at the polls so far was just 0.51 percent as of 10 a.m.
Candidates are focused on sticking to the phones to urge voter turnout throughout the day. They are reserving volunteer efforts and even those of the candidates for peak polling times at voting locations.
Sign wavers were on hand for candidates in the early morning hours and will be back out again as voters head to the polls after work.
As of Tuesday morning, 1,993 vote-by-mail ballots had been returned of the more than 6,000 requested. That total brings turnout as of 10 a.m. to 10.93 percent.
Polling places are open until 7 this evening at various churches and recreation centers across District 7. Only those in the District are voting in this election.
The top two vote-getters among Lisa Wheeler-Brown, Sheila Scott-Griffin, Will Newton, Aaron Sharpe and Lewis Stephens will move on to the citywide General Election on November 3.
Candidates will be heading to various party locations Tuesday evening to watch the election results roll in. Newton will be celebrating at Sylvia’s Soul Food. Wheeler-Brown will celebrate with supporters at Parker Financial Services. Sharpe will be on the other side of town at Paulo’s on Central Avenue and Scott-Griffin will greet supporters at Beef O’Brady’s in South St. Pete on 34th Street. Stephens did not indicate where he would be watching results.
The election is expected to be a three-way battle between Newton, Wheeler-Brown and Scott-Griffin.
Follow reporter Janelle Irwin on Twitter @JanelleIrwinFL for up-to-the-minute updates as results roll in and check pack to SaintPetersblog regularly throughout Election Day to keep tabs on what’s happening.