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Longboat Key Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2013 4 years ago

Average turnout: less than 50% for town elections

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

Last March, just 90 votes gave Vice Mayor David Brenner the District 3 seat in the race against his challenger, Ray Rajewski.

In contrast, approximately 5 million votes separated President Barack Obama from his challenger, Gov. Mitt Romney, in the November 2012 presidential election.

Turnout on Longboat Key was 83.82% for the November election, compared to just 37.06% for the commission race — which is where a single vote is more likely to make a difference.

This year’s commission election takes place Tuesday, March 12, and there’s still time to cast your ballot. There are three races on the ballot: Jim Brown vs. Larry Grossman; Terry Gans vs. Irwin Pastor; and Gene Jaleski vs. Phill Younger.

The last time the town had three contested commission seats, voter turnout was slightly higher than usual, with 46.92% of voters casting ballots in March 2010.

Early voting continues from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Friday, March 8, at Longboat Key Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day Tuesday, March 12. Sarasota County voters cast ballots at Town Hall, while Manatee County voters cast ballots at Longboat Island Chapel, 6200 Gulf of Mexico Drive.

Registered voters are eligible to cast votes in each commission election, regardless of the district in which they reside.

According to the Town Clerk’s Office, as of Tuesday evening, 456 ballots were cast at Town Hall, compared to 462 for the first four days of early voting last year.

Voter turnout: Town general municipal elections
2008: Gene Jaleski vs. Bob Siekmann; tourism referenda
Registered voters: 6,364
Votes cast: 2,621
Turnout: 41.18%

2009: Randy Clair vs. Gene Jaleski; capital improvements
Registered voters: 6,502
Votes cast: 2,324
Turnout: 35.74%

2010: Lynn Larson vs. Lee Rothenberg; David Brenner vs. Peter O’Connor; Hal Lenobel vs. Phillip Younger
Registered voters: 6,330
Votes cast: 2,970
Turnout: 46.92%

2011: Term limits, beach bond
Registered voters: 6,296
Votes cast: 1,176
Turnout: 18.68%

2012: David Brenner vs. Ray Rajewski
Registered voters: 6,298
Votes cast: 2,334
Turnout: 37.06%

Voter turnout: November general elections
November 2008 85.62%
November 2010 71%
November 2012 83.32%


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