Key local elections in Tampa Bay area highlight August primary

Posted at 5:06 PM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-13 03:10:07-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Election Day is on Tuesday with several key local races around the Tampa Bay area.

Even though it’s a primary, political expert Dr. Susan McManus says you can vote in some of the elections no matter what your party affiliation is.

“And they are critical races. School board races. What could be more interesting and important to people right now than a school board race," she said.

Along with the school board, the races for judgeships are also non-partisan.

“These are things that most people regard as are very, very important in what happens in their daily lives, the schools, and the courts. Yet, so few people take advantage of the right to vote in these in an August primary," said McManus.

EARLY VOTING: Tampa Bay area locations & times for 2020 Florida Primary Election

There are also some races called universal primaries where candidates from only one party are running. So that means anyone can vote.

“So much is available on these ballots, but because its a Presidential election year they get drowned out," said McManus.

McManus says turnout for the August primary is usually below 30%.

And while the pandemic could keep away from voting sites, it will likely lead to more mail-in ballots than ever before.

August 18 takes on special meaning this year. It’s the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote.

And there is a record number of women running in local elections.