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Polls are open until 7 p.m. today for a runoff election to decide whether Mike Musick or Shandale Terrell will represent southeast Lakeland on the City Commission until the end of the year. Many polling places have changed, so voters are urged to check their location before heading out.

All registered voters who live within Lakeland city limits may vote in the nonpartisan election.

Two candidates are vying for the seat, and it’s the only race on the ballot. They are Mike Musick and Shandale Terrell, who received the most votes in the April 6 special election for the seat. Today’s runoff is being held because no candidate received a majority of votes in the earlier election.

Learn more about the candidates in our voters guide.

The election is needed to fill a vacancy on the Lakeland City Commission created when Scott Franklin resigned in connection with his successful race for the U.S. House of Representatives. Lakeland’s seven-member City Commission sets policy for city government.

For this election, Lakeland’s 34 voting precincts are being consolidated into 12 polling places.  Find your precinct number and polling place here. View all voting locations.

Those who ordered mail-in ballots have until 7 p.m. today to turn them in to the Supervisor of Elections Office. A secure drop box that had been placed in the lobby of Lakeland City Hall is no longer available; it was picked up by Elections Office workers at the end of the day Monday, according to the City Clerk’s Office.

Several coronavirus protocols will be in place at the polls:

  • Face coverings are encouraged, but not required. Election staff will wear masks or face shields.
  • Voters may bring their own black or blue ink pen from home to fill in the ballot.

Voters must make a signature before voting so election workers can compare their signatures with the one on record. If you are asked to place your signature on an electronic pad, precision is asked; this isn’t like signing your credit card purchase at a retail store where little attention is paid to whether it’s your actual signature.

Another election will be held in November for a full four-year term for this and three other City Commission seats.

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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