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Polls are open until 7 p.m. today for a special election to decide who 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.

Four candidates are vying for the seat, and it’s the only race on the ballot. They are Steve Frankenberger, Mike Musick, Ken Post, Shandale Terrell. None has held elective office before.

Learn more about the candidates in our voters guide, by viewing video of a LkldNow forum or reading a summary of candidate positions on key issues expressed at the forum.

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 here and then find your polling place here.

Those who ordered mail-in ballots have until 7 p.m. today to turn them in. A secure drop box is available in the lobby of Lakeland City Hall, 228 S. Massachusetts Ave.

If no candidate receives a majority of votes today, a runoff election will be held May 4 between the top two vote-getters. 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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