Waves of voters have already begun to cast ballots to decide the next St. Petersburg Mayor and four City Council seats.
Requests for ballots for the at-large municipal elections — almost 91,000 that were mailed out — have started to roll back into the office of the Pinellas County Department of Elections.
Eleven percent — 9,866 ballots — of 90,943 vote-by-mail requests received through October 8 have come back, with nearly 8,000 in just the past two days.
Mayor Bill Foster and challenger Rick Kriseman are in a tight race that by most accounts will go down to the wire Nov. 5.
The county’s mail ballot numbers include over 28,000 sent out for a Clearwater referendum on a new Marine Aquarium. Voters there will consider changing the City Charter so officials can enter a 60-year contract to build, operate and maintain a new home for Winter the Dolphin.
If voters approve the referendum, the new aquarium complex would be located on the existing location of City Hall, 112 S Osceola Ave., between Pierce Boulevard and Cleveland Street. To make room, Clearwater would tear down the three-story property to make way for the $160.5 million aquarium complex.
Although there is no decision on where to relocate Clearwater City Hall, various locations are under consideration, including a downtown fire station set for demolition.