Election Day preview, list of races: Marion County official predicts 60% voter turnout

There's one week to go before the Nov. 8 general election, and thousands of Marion County residents already have voted either by mail or at early voting sites, according to the Marion County Supervisor of Elections Office.

As of Monday morning, 47,859 people – 17.66% of Marion's 271,032 registered voters – already had cast a ballot. That includes 35,450 received mail ballots and 12,409 early voters.

Supervisor of Elections Wesley Wilcox predicts that voter turnout for the 2022 general election, which is considered an off-year election, will be somewhere between the 55% turnout in 2014 and the 64% registered in 2018.

School tax referendum: Pros and cons of renewing 1 mill school tax for teachers, school safety

County judge race: 2022 election preview: County judge Seat 1: LeAnn Mackey-Barnes vs. Renee Thompson

Race for governor: Five takeaways from Florida governor race debate between Ron DeSantis and Charlie Crist

A Marion County resident enters the the Marion County Election Center in August.
A Marion County resident enters the the Marion County Election Center in August.

"I think we'll be somewhere in the middle of that," Wilcox said, "So I think we will be in the 60%, maybe 62%, range based off of the first day of early voting."

There are nine early voting sites (see attached list). The early voting period for the 2022 general election started Oct. 27 and runs through Saturday (Nov. 5.) Early voting sites are open 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

On the first day of early voting, 4,567 people turned out. Wilcox said that was much better than in 2014, "but it wasn't the 7,000 we did get in 2018."

Of Marion's 271,032 registered voters, Republicans lead the way with 126,246 (46.6%), followed by Democrats with 78,682 (29%) and all others with 66,104 (24.4%), according to VoteMarion.org.

Wesley Wilcox said people should send their mail-in votes right away

Mail-in votes must be received at the elections office by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Wilcox said there is a national movement afoot whereby "conspiracies theorists" are urging people to deliver their ballots to the elections office on Election Day.

"There's a rumor that people are spreading that says hold on to your vote until the last moment," Wilcox noted. "That is extremely bad advice. They are telling people to turn their ballots in at a 'polling place' on Election Day, and you can't do that."

Wilcox said "that's not legal in the state of Florida."

Wesley Wilcox, the supervisor of elections for Marion County, displays “Testdeck” sample ballots as elections technicians test ballot machines during testing in 2018.
Wesley Wilcox, the supervisor of elections for Marion County, displays “Testdeck” sample ballots as elections technicians test ballot machines during testing in 2018.

"The only thing you can do on Election Day, and have your vote count, is turn them into the main office," said Wilcox, adding polling places cannot take mail ballots.

Wilcox added if there is a problem with your vote by mail, whether it be a signature or whatever else, it cannot be addressed if you wait until the last day.

"If you turn in your vote by mail ballot today, and you forget to sign it, I'm going to mail you a letter or contact you and say: 'Hey, you forgot to sign it.' But if you wait until either the Monday before Election Day or Election Day, you do not get that notice and therefore your vote will be rejected."

Here is a list of races that are on the 2022 general election ballot. Not all of the following races will be on every ballot. Each voter's ballot will cover races for the areas in which they live.

The ocala.com version of this story includes links to Star-Banner/Gannett Florida/News Service of Florida coverage of many races.


• County Court Judge, Group 1 (Non-partisan): LeAnn Mackey-Barnes, Renee Thompson.

• County Commission, District 4: Carl Zalak III (R) faces two write-in candidates: Brian Christian Donnelly and Seth Posner.

• County Commission, District 2: Kathy Bryant (R) faces write-in candidate Gina M. Capone.

• Dunnellon City Council, Seat 3: Tim Inskeep, C. Anita Williams.

• Dunnellon City Council, Seat 4: Wally Dunn, Valerie Porter Hanchar.

McIntosh Town Council (vote for two): Eva Jo V. Callahan, Frank M. Ciotti, Scott D. Mullikin.


Marion County Public Schools: Approval of continuing one mill ad valorem tax for school district operation expenses: Shall the Marion County School District one mill ad valorem millage be continued, beginning July 1, 2023 and ending June 30, 2027, for necessary operating expenses including safe schools, reading, physical education, art, music, library/media and vocational programs; meeting class size requirements and retaining state certified teachers and paraprofessionals with oversight of these expenditures by an independent citizens financial oversight committee?

Town of McIntosh: Procedure and meetings; no mayoral veto: Shall the town charter be amended to provide that any unfinished business be carried over to the next regular town council meeting, becoming effective immediately upon passage and does not require approval of the mayor or be subject to a mayoral veto?


Governor: Ron DeSantis (R), Charlie Crist (D), Hector Roos (LPF), Carmen Jackie Gimenez (NPA).

Attorney General: Ashley Moody (R), Aramis Ayala (D).

Chief Financial Officer: Jimmy Patronis (R), Adam Hattersley (D).

Commissioner of Agriculture: Wilton Simpson (R), Naomi Esther Blemur (D).

State Senator, District 9: Keith Perry (R), Rodney Long (D).

State Representative, District 21: Hollye Merton (R), Yvonne Hayes Hinson (D)


Amendment 1: Limitation on the assessment on real property used for residential purposes: The amendment targets effects of rising sea levels. If approved, changing the elevation of a homes could not be considered in determining assessed values.

Amendment 2: Abolishing the Constitution Revision Commission: The commission meets every 20 years and is scheduled to meet again in 2037. Created in 1968, the entity recommended changes to constitution. If approved, citizen can still seek ballot amendment changes.

Amendment 3: Additional homestead property tax exemption for specified critical public services workforce: If approved, an additional $50,000 homestead exemption would be given to firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, teachers, law enforcement officers, correctional officers, child welfare services professionals and active duty members of the military and Florida National Guard.


U.S. Senate: Marco Rubio (R), Val Demings (D), Dennis Misigoy (LPF),

Steven B. Grant (NPA), Tuan TQ Nguyen (NPA).

• United States Representative, District 3: Kat Cammack (R), Danielle Hawk (D), Linda S. Brooks (NPA)

• United States Representative, District 6: Michael Waltz (R), Joseph "Joe" Hannoush (D).


Florida Supreme Court: Voters will be asked whether they wish to retain each of the following justices: Charles T. Canady, John D. Couriel, Jamie Grosshans, Jorge Labarga and Ricky Polston.

5th District Court of Appeal: Voters will be asked whether they wish to retain each of the following judges: Jay Cohen, James A. Edwards, Brian D. Lambert, Mary Nardella, Dan Traver and Carrie Ann Wozniak

Joe Callahan can be reached at (352) 817-1750 or at joe.callahan@starbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoeOcalaNews.

Early voting sites

The early voting period for the 2022 General Election runs through Saturday, Nov. 5. Early voting polls are open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. at the following locations:

• Election Center: 981 NE 16th St., Ocala

• Freedom Public Library: 5870 SW 95th St., Ocala

• Belleview Public Library: 13145 County Road 484, Ocala

• Reddick Community Center: 4345 NW 152nd St., Reddick

• Deputy Brian Litz Building: 9048 SW State Road 200, Ocala

• Silver Springs Shores Community Center: 590 Silver Road, Ocala

• Dunnellon Public Library: 20351 Robinson Road, Dunnellon

• The Villages Mulberry Center: 8445 SE 165th Mulberry Lane, Summerfield

• Forest Public Library: 905 S County Road 314A

This article originally appeared on Ocala Star-Banner: Marion County election preview: See local, Florida races on the ballot