2019 Election Update

Vote by Mail Ballot Deadline; Canvassing Board Update; Rollins Debate Video

2019 Election Update

Request Your Vote by Mail Ballots by March 6

If you were expecting a Vote by Mail ballot and did not received it, the Orange County Supervisor of Elections (OCSOE) advises you to contact their office to request one.

Call 407-836-8683 or 407-836-2070. Or go online to https://ocfelections.com.

You have until March 6 to request a Vote by Mail ballot. If you prefer to vote at the polls March 12, click the above link to make sure your registration is in order and find your polling place.

Cooper, Sprinkel & Seidel Will Serve on March 12 Canvassing Board

In the City Attorney’s report at the Feb. 25 Commission meeting, City Attorney Kurt Ardaman revisited the issue of the canvassing board. “The issue has come up,” said Ardaman, “can a mayor or commissioner participate in a [campaign for] a city election, even though they are not the ones running, and still be on the canvassing board?”

Ardaman said, “I have spoken with [Orange County Supervisor of Elections] Bill Cowles – and, of course he deals with a County canvassing board, and we have a City canvassing board. They are two completely different animals.”

Ardaman explained that the Florida state statutes deal with County canvassing boards, but they do not deal with City canvassing boards. City canvassing boards are controlled by the City Charter. “Notwithstanding the participation of any mayor or commissioner in this election or campaign, they have the ability to participate. It might not be the right thing, or the wrong perspective,” said Ardaman, “but the law does not allow us to appoint anybody other than those who are provided by our Charter.”

After discussion, it was agreed that Commissioner Carolyn Cooper, Commissioner Greg Seidel and Commissioner Sarah Sprinkel will serve on the March 12 canvassing board. To view the conversation, click here.

Ballots Are Secret

Earlier conversations with City Clerk Cindy Bonham shed light on the vote certification process, which is the duty of the canvassing board.

The final vote tabulation is done at OCSOE. In addition to tabulating votes cast at the polls on election day, the Vote by Mail ballots also are tabulated by OCSOE. OCSOE compares the envelope signatures with those in their data base. Envelopes with signatures that do not match signatures in the data base are given to the City canvassing board to accept or reject.

Canvassing Process Open to the Public

On election night, after the polls close, results from each precinct are electronically transmitted to OCSOE office for tabulation. The three members of the City canvassing board go to OCSOE offices, where they will canvass votes that are in question. The process is open to the public. Any citizen is welcome to observe, but no one may interfere with the canvassing board.

When a questionable envelope is accepted by the canvassing board, it is given to OCSOE to include in the tabulation. Rejected envelopes are set aside unopened.

According to City Clerk Cindy Bonham, envelopes that are rejected are never opened by the canvassing board. So, while board members may be able to identify the voter, no one at the City ever knows how a voter votes.

According to Cindy Bonham, “OCSOE makes every effort to ensure every vote is counted correctly.”

In a small town such as Winter Park, even one vote can make the difference. Just ask Joe Terranova – Winter Park Mayor 1997 – 2000.

Rollins Debate

The third and final candidate debate between Commissioner Peter Weldon and his challenger Todd Weaver was sponsored by Rollins’ Democracy Project. Only Weaver and Weldon were present for the debate. The third candidate, Barbara Chandler, was absent.

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    By: Anne Mooney

    Anne Mooney has assumed the editorship of the Winter Park Voice from founding editor Tom Childers.

    Mooney got her start in New York as a freelance line editor for book publishers, among them Simon & Schuster and the Clarkson Potter division of Crown Books. From New York, she and her husband and their year-old toddler moved to Washington, D.C., where the two ran a newswire service for Harper’s magazine. “We called it Network News,” said Mooney, “because it was a network of the Harper’s writers, whose work we edited into newspaper style and format and sold to papers in the top U.S. and Canadian markets. We were sort of like a tiny UPI.”

    The newswire ceased operation with the death of Mooney’s first husband, but Mooney continued to write and edit, doing freelance work for Williams Sonoma cookbooks and for local publications in D.C.

    In 2005, Mooney moved to Winter Park, where she worked as a personal chef and wrote a regular food column for a south Florida magazine. She took an active interest in Winter Park politics and was there when the Winter Park Voice was founded. She wrote occasional pieces for the Voice, including the Childers bio that this piece replaces.

    The Winter Park Voice is one of a large number of “hyper-local” publications that have sprung up across the U.S. in response to the decline of the major daily newspapers and the resulting deficit of local news coverage. The Voice’sbeat is Winter Park City Hall, and its purpose is to help the residents of our city better understand the political forces that shape our daily lives.

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3 replies
  1. Jim Fitch says:

    The Liebrary continues to be a topic for discussion and disagreement between the candidates for Commission Seat 4.

    I MISSPOKE when I said it would end up being a $55 million project. Based on Commissioner Weldon’s recent comments “several additions/improvements to the base design with an estimated cost of about $9 million” – it will probably be closer to $45 million. Only a 50% overrun…

    That overrun will have to be paid for with Winter Park dollars – which will have to come from the General Fund, Underground Fund or some other Pot of Money the City has. I seriously doubt the overrun can be bonded.

    The Voters and the Bond Holders were sold a complete package for $30 million. Now we are being told another $9 million to get those. With the inevitable Change Orders, it will be more than that..

    What information do we have about the pilings that will be needed to support this structure on this site? Reminds me of the Amsterdam Central Station with 9,000 pilings to support it.

    This will be a continuing Saga.

    • WP's future reputation: "You need to try it once." says:

      Many thanks to Ms. Womble for her latest investigative reportage at WPV on FB, and link to the presentation of the City’s plan for mass tourism in WP centered at “The Canopy.”

      After what we saw, we’re moving out of WP as soon as possible. We don’t want to live in I-Drive North with traffic congestion, hundreds of U.K. and Brazilian tourists staying in cheap chain hotels and eating at cheap chain restaurants on 17-92.

      We were astonished at what was said.

      Mayor Leary kept referring to the sinkhole as a “lake.”

      Then he said that The Canopy will be accessible to the public, regardless of income, because there are outdoor spaces for people who can’t afford to attend indoor activities at the event center, and, of course, the library will be open to the public.


      Do people outside of the 3 commissioners and mayor groupthink really believe that demolishing our beloved library and building a mass tourist attraction in its stead has widespread community support?

      Martha Haynie: “I wonder why you didn’t do a slightly larger bond issue with all the community support you had to go ahead and get all the money in one fell swoop…”

      Randy Knight: “We had a preliminary study that said it was going to be a $30 mil project…and we chose a world-class architect to design it, so the price went up a little..”

      Someone with deep Southern accent: “What’s the rating on the bond?”

      Randy Knight: “AA+, I believe it is…Of course it’s a DO [debt outstanding] bond…guaranteed by the taxpayers of Winter Park…”

      Addendum: Review of I-Drive at TripAdvisor

      “traffic jam” – Review of International Drive

      “International Drive, or I Drive has to be experienced at least once. During the day it is busy and gaudy with many different shops and restaurants.

      “At night it is ridiculous, traffic is jammed back and pedestrians hustle back and forth within the neon lights and signs.

      “It can quickly become exasperating but you need to try it once.

  2. Knight Foolery says:

    Leary and sidekicks like to play up that the architect of “The Canopy” boondoggle was “knighted” by the British Empire.

    Sounds impressive, right?

    This is the “snob appeal” Leary thought would make the project irresistible to, in his mind, the status addicted residents of Winter Park.

    But since no one bothered to check, I thought I would.

    According to Wikipedia THERE ARE OVER ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND living British “knights.”

    Apparently the Royal Family either hands knighthoods out like candy, or there is some kind payment that Is made in exchange for the “honor.”

    Wikipedia: “Although the Order of the British Empire has by far the highest number of members of the British Orders of Chivalry, with over 100,000 living members worldwide”


    According to Wikipedia this has led some in Britain to comment that the “honor” is nothing more than a “preposterous charade.”


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