Ocala ballot set, city elections Sept. 21
The ballot will feature five races for office and three proposed charter amendments.
Only residents of the city can vote, but voters can cast ballots for all seats, regardless of their residence.
This year’s ballot also includes a special election for District 4, which is being vacated by Councilman Matt Wardell.
Wardell announced he would leave the seat in April due to increased business and educational responsibilities. The election drew six candidates for the position. The winner of the Sept. 21 election will serve out the remainder of Wardell’s term, which runs through 2023.
In the District 5 seat, incumbent Justin Grabelle decided to not seek re-election.
All 15 candidates who filed qualified to be on the ballot, according to the Marion County Supervisor of Elections office.
The races, which are all non-partisan, include:
Kent Guinn – Incumbent
Brent Malever – Incumbent
Jay A. Musleh – Incumbent
Matt Wardell – Incumbent (Wardell is resigning the seat)
Justin Grabelle – Incumbent (Grabelle is not seeking re-electon)
One proposal would replace masculine pronouns in the charter with both feminine and masculine pronouns. Currently, the charter only includes masculine pronouns.
A second amendment changes the timeline of run-off and special elections.
The charter currently calls for run-off and special elections to happen during a 30 to 60-day window. The amendment would change that time to “as soon as reasonably practical.”
The current timeframe does not allow enough time for certain overseas ballots to arrive and be counted.
The third amendment would clarify when the terms of elected officials begin and end.
In the current charter, terms begin the first Tuesday in December after the election. The proposed change gives more specifics to prevent an overlap.
Each amendment must have a simple majority of votes – 50% plus one – to pass.
The deadline to register to vote in the election is Aug. 23. Requests for mail-in ballots must be received by 5 p.m., Aug. 13. Mail ballots must be received at the Supervisor of Elections Office by 7 p.m. on Election Day to be counted, according to the supervisor’s site.