City election turnout at record level

Marion County Supervisor of Elections Wesley Wilcox speaks while surrounded by ballot machines in this 2020 file photo. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]
At just after 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, the Marion County Supervisor of Elections was reporting record voter turnout during the City Council elections.

By 10 a.m. there were more than 5,700 ballots cast or about 15% voter turnout. The turnout eclipsed the mark set in 2009, according to Starly Ard, the elections office spokeswoman.

Despite reports of voting machines not working at several precincts, Wesley Wilcox, supervisor of elections, said all precincts are up and running. There was one issue with an electrical plug that was not working, but the voting machine was moved to a different location.

There are 38,257 voters eligible to vote in the Ocala elections, which include races for District 1, District 3, District 4 and District 5. There are also three amendments on the ballot to change the city charter.

This year’s city election has been marked by negative advertising from unaffiliated political committees as well as increased campaign contributions, across most races. The mayor’s race raised almost $230,000 in campaign contributions alone. In 2019, the mayor’s contest saw less than $60,000 in contributions.

The elections office received more than 4,400 mail-in ballots and early numbers had counted more than 1,400 in-person votes. Polls are open until 7 p.m.

 

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