Early voting ends in Orlando District 5 special election

Orlando District 5 voters stopped at the Orange County Elections Supervisor's office to cast their ballots in the city's special election.

"It is imperative, no matter what the race, no matter what level, that your voice is heard via voting," said voter Natalie J. Ford.

Saturday was the last day to vote early in the special election. The next  – and last  – chance for District 5 voters to cast ballots is Tuesday. 

"This is a critical race because the district has been without representation for over a month-and-a-half," Ford said.

Seven candidates are running for the seat:

  • Ericka Dunlap
  • Tiakeysha Ellison
  • Lawanna Gelzer
  • Cameron Hope
  • Travaris McCurdy
  • Miles Mulrain, Jr.
  • Shaniqua Rose

Two candidates' supporters were trying to get out to vote on Sunday morning. They said it was important for voters to make their voices heard. 

"We have seven fine candidates vying for this role. I just want people to vote. Just come out and vote!" said campaign worker Teresa Patterson.

"Your vote does count, it does," said campaign worker Donna Cooper, "when we sit home, it doesn't count, but if you get out, make a difference. Just make a difference.

Former District 5 commissioner Regina Hill is accused of defrauding a 96-year-old woman out of $100,000. She now faces seven criminal charges. The person elected to fill the seat will serve District 5 until either the criminal case against Hill is resolved or the current term ends.

Mayor Buddy Dyer said the special election would cost roughly $32,000. He said he was confident District 5 would be taken care of until that seat is filled. "Generally, do things by consensus here. very rarely you have a split vote on anything. all the other commissioners will watch out for district five."