With the appointment of Mike Fasano as Pasco Tax Collector, District 36, in Western Pasco County, is without representation in the Florida House. In accordance with the state constitution and statutes, our governor has called a special election. There are three Republican candidates and one Democratic candidate vying for this seat. Per Florida law, only voters residing within District 36 are eligible to vote in this election. Additionally, because Florida is a closed primary state, only the three Republicans will be on the Sept. 17 Primary ballot and only Republican within District 36 are eligible for that election.
The winner of the Primary will face the Democratic candidate in the Oct. 15 General Special Election, in which all eligible District 36 voters can vote.
Verifying your eligibility is as easy as visiting http://pascovotes.com or calling (800) 851-8754. Eligible voters have three ways of having their voice heard: voting by mail, early voting, or voting on Election Day. Qualified Electors can order a vote-by-mail online at pascovotes.com or by calling the above number.
In order to be counted, all vote-by-mail ballots are due back at the Supervisor of Elections Office by 7 p.m. Sept. 17 for the Primary and 7 p.m. Oct. 15 for the General. Early voting — it begins Saturday, Sept. 7, and ends Saturday, Sept. 14, for the Primary and starts Saturday, Oct. 5, and ends Saturday, Oct. 12, for the General — is available at the West Pasco Government Center from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sunday and from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Election Day, the only voting option is at the polls at your assigned polling location.
Remember to take your photo and your signature ID when voting early or at the polls. For further questions or clarification about this special election go online to http://www.pascovotes.com/special2013.asp.
Sadly, special elections are known for minimal turnout but with a record number of vote by mail ballots being sent to voters, I’m optimistic that we will see a spike in turnout. It’s too important to sit by.
The writer is Pasco supervisor of elections.