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Pinellas voter turnout already at 15 percent

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

With a week to go before the primary, about 15 percent of Pinellas County’s 625,961 voters have already cast ballots.

The total 93,645 ballots include 92,818 mail-in ballots received since July 19 and 827 votes cast since early polling began Saturday. The figures, accurate as of 9 a.m. Tuesday, are from the Pinellas County Elections Office.

Thus far, the number of Republicans voting outstrips the number of Democrats: 40,562 to 37,923. Libertarians have cast 185 ballots and those who have no party affiliation or belong to other parties have cast 14,975 votes.

The Aug. 30 election consists of party primaries in which only voters registered with a political party can vote. But the election also has nonpartisan races for the Pinellas County School Board, judicial seats and a constitutional amendment dealing with solar energy. All registered voters can cast ballots in those races.

Early voting will be available through Sunday at the three elections offices:

— Election Service Center, Starkey Lakes Corporate Center, 13001 Starkey Road, Largo

— Pinellas County Courthouse, 315 Court St., Room 117, Clearwater

— County Building, 501 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg (entrance on 5th Street)

Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Voters can also still vote by mail. Wednesday at 5 p.m. is the deadline to request a mail ballot. To request a mail ballot, visit VotePinellas.com, call (727) 464-VOTE (8683) or email MailBallot@VotePinellas.com. Ballots may also be picked up in Supervisor of Elections Offices; however, mail ballot pickup and voting in Elections Offices on Election Day is only permitted in the case of an emergency.

Voters should allow at least five days for their ballot to be returned by mail to the Supervisor of Elections Office. Remote mail ballot drop-off sites are available through Monday. VotePinellas.com has a list of locations and hours.

Remote ballot drop-off locations will be closed election day. Voted mail ballots can also be dropped off at any of the three elections offices, including election day. All ballots must be received at an Elections Office by 7 p.m. on election day.

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