If you vote in person for the Jan. 15 City Commission election, chances are you’ll be going to a new location. In an effort to cut costs, city commissioners today reduced the number of polling places from 25 to 12 — and most of those will be on city property.

Voters will go to the polls to select a replacement for former City Commissioner Michael Dunn, who resigned last month after he was indicted on second-degree murder charges.

Those who want to run for the seat must live in the city’s southwest district, but residents citywide will be able to vote in the election. Candidates will be able to qualify to run Nov. 26-30. The election will be held on Jan. 15; if no candidate receives a majority, a runoff will be held Feb. 12.

City Clerk Kelly Koos proposed reducing the number of polling places to eight in order to save money. Each election is projected to cost $65,000. But City Commissioner Justin Troller suggested providing three election locations in each of the city’s four quadrants so that residents won’t have to travel as far on election day. His idea prevailed in a unanimous commission vote.

Here’s a map showing the 12 polling places:

Residents will be notified of their polling places when Koos sends out a sample ballot to all registered voters in advance of election day.

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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com 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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