vote here

Polk County’s 134 polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday for the Florida primary election. Even though it’s a primary election, six races on Lakeland-area ballots are open to all registered voters, regardless of party affiliation.

Races that are open to all voters include:

  • Four races for the Polk County School Board
  • A race for Polk County judge.
  • Two races for Florida House seats in Lakeland-area districts. Both races include only Republican candidates but are open to all voters because no Democrats are in the running.

In addition, Republicans will vote in primaries for U.S. House and Florida commissioner of agriculture. Democrats will vote in primaries for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, Florida governor, Florida attorney general and Florida commissioner of agriculture.


At the polling place, voters will be asked to show two forms of identification: a signature identification and a photo identification. Some IDs that have both a photo and signature, such as a driver license, can be accepted as a single form of identification. More on polling-place procedures.

Races for all voters include:

  • Polk School Board District 3, nonpartisan: Sarah Fortney and Rick Nolte
  • Polk School Board District 5, nonpartisan: Terry Clark and Kay Fields
  • Polk School Board District 6, nonpartisan: Sara Jones and Justin Sharpless
  • Polk School Board District 6, nonpartisan: Lisa Miller, Del Quary and Jill Sessions
  • Polk County Judge, nonpartisan: John Flynn, Ruth Moracen Knight, Carmalita Lall, Adam Patton and Tara Wheat.
  • Florida House District 50, which includes most of Lakeland city limits: Jennifer Canady and Phillip Walker
  • Florida House District 51, which includes some of Lakeland’s northern and eastern suburbs: Bill Olson and Josie Tomkow

Races for Republicans only include:

  • U.S. House District 15, which includes portions of Lakeland west of Florida Avenue/U.S. 98N: Demetries Grimes, Laurel Lee, Kevin “Mac” McGovern, Kelli Stargel and Jackie Toledo.
  • U.S. House District 18: which includes portions of Lakeland east of Florida Avenue/U.S. 98N: Scott Frankin, Kenneth “Kenny” Hartpence, Jennifer Raybon, Wendy Schmeling and Eduardo “Eddie” Tarazona.
  • Florida Agriculture Commissioner: James W. Shaw and Wilton Simpson

Races for Democrats only include:

  • U.S. House 15, which includes portions of Lakeland west of Florida Avenue/U.S. 98N: Gavin Brown, Alan Cohn, Eddie Geller, Cesar Ramirez and William Van Horn.
  • Florida Governor: Charlie Crist, Nikki Fried, Cadance Daniel and Robert Willis.
  • Florida Attorney General: Aramis Ayala, Jim Lewis and Daniel Uhlfelder.
  • Florida Agriculture Commissioner: Naomi Esther Blemur, J.R. Gaillot and Ryan Morales.

Throughout Polk County, 458,210 people were registered to vote as of July 25, the deadline for the primary election. Among them are 173,161 Republicans, 149,454 Democrats, and 135,595 registered with a different party or no party affiliation.

Early voting took place at nine locations in Polk County from Aug. 13 to 20. As of Thursday, 47,000+ Polk residents had cast ballots either at early voting locations or by mail.

The 118,944 Polk residents who received vote-by-mail ballots have until 7 p.m. Tuesday to return them to the Polk Supervisor of Elections offices at 250 S. Broadway Ave. in Bartow or 70 Florida Citrus Boulevard in Winter Haven.

On Tuesday night, check results for local races after 7 p.m. on the home page or at the Polk Supervisor of Elections site. Statewide results will be available at

Click the graphic to research candidates:

SEND CORRECTIONS, questions, feedback or news tips:


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

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.

Leave a comment

Your Thoughts On This? (Comments are moderated; first and last name are required.)