Tampa early voting starts Monday

click to enlarge Tampa early voting starts Monday - Flickr user hjl
Flickr user hjl
Tampa early voting starts Monday

Unless you're one of the 10,990 or so Tampa voters who have already cast a ballot by mail, you have about a week and a half to weigh in on multiple city council seats. And there are about a jillion ways to do so.

On Monday, seven days' worth of early voting will start for eligible voters within the bounds of Tampa. You can also still send in/drop off your mail-in ballot by Election Day, or you can physically go to your designated polling place on Election Day, which is Tuesday, March 3, and fill out an actual ballot.

As for who will be on which ballots, it's kind of a mixed bag. 

Every ballot will have at least three races; Districts 1, 2 and 3, all citywide seats, are all up. Districts 1 and 3 each have an incumbent, Councilman Mike Saurez and Councilwoman Yvonne "Yolie" Capin, respectively. Their challengers are, also respectively, Susan Long and Paul Erni.

As for the District 2 seat, it is open due to Mary Mulhern's departure from the council because of term limits. Three people, Julie Jenkins, Joe Citro and Councilman Charlie Miranda (who termed out of his Dtstrict 6 seat) are competing.

As for geographically specific seats, two are up. 

Miranda's soon-to-be former District 6 seat (which primarily covers West Tampa) is now home to a three-way race between Tommy Castellano, Guido Maniscalco and Jackie Toledo (it's proven to be the most contentious of all the races). 

Meanwhile, the race for the South Tampa District 4 seat pits incumbent Councilman Harry Cohen against challenger Kent King.

The other two seats, Councilman Frank Reddick's East Tampa District 5 seat and Councilwoman Lisa Montelione's North Tampa District 7 seat, are not contested.

So, there you have it.

As for early voting, seven polling places will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Voters can cast a ballot at any of those regardless of geographic precinct, unlike on Election Day (again, March 3), when voters can only go to their respective precincts to vote (although there are 90 of them throughout the city).

The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Web site has the specifics so you can inform yourself to your little heart's content.

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