Local city elections are probably the most important elections in which you can vote.
Members of a city council make decisions that touch every area of our lives from day to day – like approving the city’s annual budget, setting tax rates and utility rates, establishing goals and priorities, and making important decisions regarding zoning, road improvements, building development, and city services – such as libraries and park – to name just a few.
These are the people who affect you and your loved ones the most, so it’s vitally important to get out there and vote for the people you believe will do the best job.
In most local elections, candidates run on a non-partisan platform without mentioning political affiliations. It does not matter if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent, or some other party. In state and national elections, partisan politics is the norm. The reasoning is fairly simple: local government and decisions do not need to have party platforms or political influence and are charged with making the best decisions for the city or county or school system based on what is best for the district they represent.
If you don’t like what local council members are doing, don’t just stay at home or complain, get out there and vote for a candidate who may do the best job.
In Clearwater, all five council members (including the mayor) serve four-year terms and are elected at-large – meaning they are elected to represent the whole population in the city, rather than just a portion of it.
City council candidates must be qualified voters of the City, at least 18 years of age, and have continuously resided in the City for at least one year prior to the start of qualifying. In order to qualify for office, signatures of 250 registered voters of the City of Clearwater must be obtained on petition cards.
Election Day for Clearwater city council candidates is March 15, 2022. There are two open seats – Seat 4 and Seat 5.
David Allbritton, the current councilmember in Seat 4, is running for re-election.
Hoyt Hamilton, the current councilmember in Seat 5, will be terming out after serving two consecutive terms totaling eight years and cannot currently run for re-election.
The candidates who are running are as follows:
- David Allbritton
- Maranda Douglas
- Gerry Lee
- Aaron Smith-Levin
- Lina Teixeira
- Jonathan Wade, Sr.
If you are registered to vote, please get out and make a choice. You have the power to decide on the quality of life you want for yourself, your family and future generations. It’s an opportunity for change. Not voting is giving up your voice!
As of this writing, only 10% of registered voters have cast their votes!
The deadline to register to vote was February 14, 2022. There will be no early voting this year. Mail-in ballots, for those who requested them, were sent out on February 10. Ballots may be returned by mail or in person at one of the Supervisor of Elections three offices. Voted mail ballots cannot be accept at polling places. Mail-in ballots need to be returned by March 15 up until 7 p.m. to one of the three Supervisor of Election offices in order to be counted.
On Election Day – Tuesday, March 15 – the polls will be open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
To check your registration status, visit /www.votepinellas.com/Voter-Registration/Check-My-Registration-Status
To find your precinct, visit www.votepinellas.com/Election-Information/Find-Your-Precinct-Polling-Place
To track the status of your ballot, visit www.votepinellas.com/Mail-Ballots/Check-My-Mail-Ballot-Status
For more information about returning mail-in ballots, visit www.votepinellas.com/mail-ballots/mail-ballot-overview#six
For more information about the candidates, visit MyClearwater.com/Election.
For more information about voting in Pinellas, visit www.votepinellas.com
Feature image by Janine Robinson on UnSplash