Don’t Wait: Register to Vote Where You Live to Vote in Upcoming Elections

June 19, 2020 (Orange County, FL) — It seems like a long time from now but we know that with everything going on in our world, time flies by. It’s important that if you plan to vote in the crucial Primary Election in August, you must make sure you are registered to vote where you live and in the party of your choice.

The deadline to register to vote or update you party affiliation is Monday, July 20 (about a month from now), according the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office. Also, if you plan to vote by mail you must request a ballot by 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 8. The Primary Election is on Tuesday, August 18.

Florida is a closed primary state so you have to choose a party from which to select candidates.

In Orange County, voters will have a ballot full of names for Orange County Sheriff; Seven candidates are running against first-term Sheriff John Mina and there are several people running in each of the three open Orange County Commission seats. Same thing with the Property Appraiser position and four open School Board seats.

As we watch Americans of all races, ages and backgrounds protest and demand changes in light of a disproportionate number of Black people around the country being murdered at the hands of law enforcement officers, we are reminded that local positions are responsible for what happens in our communities. They work for residents, the main taxpayers. We all want to live in peace and expect law enforcement to protect and serve us. We want fair-minded people who are not afraid to do the right thing in the midst of racial tensions and a pandemic.

Your can register to vote or update your contact information or party affiliation at local driver license offices, public libraries as well as the Center for Independent Living and elections office.

The Orange County Elctions Office is located at 119 W. Kaley Street, Orlando, FL 32806. Phone: 407-836-2070. Website:

Posted in Community news that can help

COVID-19 Testing Available for Uninsured Residents

Do you want to get tested for the COVID-19 (a.k.a. Coronavirus) but don’t think you can because you don’t have health insurance? Well, you can and at no cost at these locations. (This information was complied by the folks managing the Central Florida Resilience System.)


Grace Medical Home will be offering FREE Testing 9am – 12 p.m. every Friday in the month of June. Patients do not need to be showing symptoms and no appointment is necessary. For more information contact Susan Gardner at ***@***.*** (you can click on the asterics to send an email).

FREE NO INSURANCE REQUIRED Mon June 22nd at the Farmworkers Association Register here

FREE NO INSURANCE REQUIRED Tue June 23rd at John Bridge Community Center, Apopka Register here

FREE NO INSURANCE REQUIRED Wed June 24th at Neighborhood Center for Families in Zellwood Register here

Please share this information; You never know who may need it.

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Great is Thy Faithfulness: OCN Turns 9

9 Year Anniversary Achievement
Happy Anniversary with!
You registered on 9 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

Singing, “Great is thy faithfulness, Great is thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see! All I have needed, thy hands have provided. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!” It’s certainly by The Lord’s mercieS that we are not consumed, because his compassionS they fail not. Amen. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Inspiration from the hymn and Lamentations 3: 22-23, Holy Bible) This is a special morning for Orlando Community News: God has so graciously allowed it to be online for 9 years – TODAY. Someone praise God with me! I’m thankful for the vision and the vehicle to tell people about GOOD news happening every day around us and HELPFUL information to give residents an opportunity to live better lives – in just about every way. May God bless each one of you for staying connected by registering for updates here, following me on here or sharing information you read here. Please keep this publication in your prayers. I believe in the power of prayer and I know that God will lead me to even higher heights! Thank you and I will see you real soon because there is so much Good Stuff to talk about! I love you with the love of God!

-Trish Martin, Founder and Publishing Editor, Orlando Community News

Posted in Community news that can help

Election Registration Deadline: Tuesday, Feb. 18

February 6, 2020 (Orange County, FL) — It’s one thing to have emotions run all over the place, about the Impeachment of Donald John Trump and it’s another to do something about it.

There are 11 Democratic candidates still in the 2020 Presidential race. There are also two candidates on the Republican side, running against Trump, according to the latest news reports. The deadline to register to vote in the Florida Presidential Preference Primary election when you can choose one of those candidates is Tuesday, February 18.

Let your voice be heard: make sure you are registered where you live and then, VOTE.

The primary election is on March 17 and you must be registered with either the Democratic Party or Republican Party. Pick one, if you haven’t already, because Florida is a closed primary state, meaning only Democrats can vote in the Democratic primary election and only Republicans can vote in theirs.

“About 30 percent of Orange County registered voters have no party affiliation,” said Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles in a recent press release. “Unless they update their party affiliation by Feb. 18, they will not have the chance to vote in the Presidential Preference Primary.”

Many people move into the state and between counties within the state and often forget to update their registration with their new address and/or name changes. Some new to the state don’t know it’s a closed primary state and that they have to pick a party in order to vote, the press release noted. (Not all states have closed primaries like Florida.)

Per election officials, Feb. 18 is also the deadline to vote in six upcoming city elections: Apopka, Belle Isle, Eatonville, Maitland, Winter Garden and Winter Park. (City Elections are just as important as national elections because most of our immediate needs have to do with what’s happening in our local communities.)

Early voting for both the Presidential Preference Primary and the city elections will be held daily March 2 – March 15, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot is 5 p.m. on March 7.

On Dec. 18, Trump became only the third president in U.S. history to be impeached. A fourth, Richard Nixon, resigned before he was formally impeached. A majority of the House of Representatives voted to impeach him for Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress. The Senate acquitted Trump on Feb. 5, in what some called an invalid trial because Republican senators (Senate majority) voted against hearing any key witnesses and reviewing any key documents. Basically, no first hand evidence was presented. Trump’s acquittal came a day after he delivered his State of the Union speech.


The best way to check your registration status is go to the Orange County Supervisor of Elections website: at or call the office at (407) 836-2070.

Orlando Community News, 2020
Posted in Community news that can help

Orlando: It’s Election Day in District 6

BD6B95E0-1E76-4575-B083-DC01CA93AA84December 3, 2019 (Orlando) – It’s Election Day in the City of Orlando. If you live in District 6, go to your polling place and vote, if you haven’t already voted early or voted by mail-in ballot.

This is a Run-off election between Bakari Burns and Gary Siplin. They want to be your city commissioner so Goggle them or ask somebody about them, choose one and go vote!

Every vote counts! Their race is in a run-off election because no one got a majority of the votes in the city’s most recent election. (Burns got 46% of the votes, Siplin got 39%, Lawanna Gelzer got 14%). A little over 200 votes separated Burns and Siplin.)

So people – remember to vote today, if you live in city limits and in District 6 – which includes a huge chunk of the southwest portion of the city.

Orlando Commissioners are elected from six respective districts. The commissioners are elected for four-year terms. The District 6 commission seat was formerly held by long-time commissioner Sam B. Ings, who ran in the mayoral race but lost.

If you’re registered to vote but not sure what district you live in or go to the Orange County Supervisor of Elections website – or call the elections office: (407) 836-2070.

Now is not the time to stay home! #YourVoteisYourVoice


Posted in Community news that can help

Orlando: Early Voting Starts October 28

Early voting in the City of Orlando starts next Monday, October 28 and runs through the the following Saturday and Sunday. Early voting will take place at the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office, 119 W. Kaley Street, Orlando, FL 32806.

The hours on Oct. 28 – Nov. 1: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 3: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Here are some other important dates for the city's General Election:

Oct. 24 at 10 a.m. - Public test of voting equipment

Oct. 26 at 5 p.m. - Deadline to request a Vote-By-Mail ballot

Oct. 31 - Last day to make donations to candidates

Nov. 5 from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. - ELECTION DAY


All elections are important but this one is crucial for Orlando because voters will either re-elect long-term Mayor Buddy Dyer (first elected in 2003) or select from two other candidates: long-term District 6 Commissioner Sam B. Ings (former police captain who has run against Dyer before and acted as mayor pro-tem a couple of times) and Navy veteran and non-profit consultant Aretha Simons (who announced her candidacy back in 2017.) Ings says it’s time for a new era of leadership and Simons says it’s time for a new voice at City Hall. 

City Council seats 2, 4 and 6 are also being voted on, although only Incumbent Antonio “Tony” Ortiz has qualified for his District 2 seat. Candidates for District 4: Incumbent Patty Sheehan and Corey DeVogel (who qualified but withdrew). Candidates for District 6:  Bakari Burns, Lawanna Gelzer and Gary Siplin. 

Election officials have a friendly reminder also: Even though your residential address says Orlando, FL, you may not live within Orlando city limits. This election for the City of Orlando only. Check your voter registration/eligibility ahead of Election Day:


Orlando Community News, 2019



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Registration Deadline October 7 for Orlando Elections

October 3, 2019 (Orlando) — With national news bombarding headlines and TV news, residents here who want to vote in next month’s city elections have to refocus on what’s happening in town: First, the deadline to register is Monday, Oct. 7, for the City of Orlando’s General Election in November. In addition, Early Voting starts a few weeks later on October 28.

If you live in the city limits of Orlando and you’re already registered, great! You may want contact all of your family members and neighbors to remind them about the registration deadline and early voting. Orlando is the only city in Orange County that has an election in November. It is set for Tuesday, November 5.

Voters will either keep current Mayor Buddy Dyer or elect a brand new mayor. (He has competition from District 6 Commissioner Sam B. Ings and Aretha Simons, who filed her intentions to run back in November 2017.)

Also, city commission seats 2,4 and 6 are up for grabs. District 2 Commissioner Antonio (Tony) Ortiz has no competition for his seat. Corey DeVogel recently joined the District 4 race against incumbent Commissioner Patty Sheehan.  Three candidates: Gary Siplin, Lawanna Gelzer and Bakari Burns are vying for the District 6 seat. (Vicki-Elaine Felder withdrew from the race.)

You can register or update your existing voter registration online at:, at a driver’s license office, at a public library; at the Center for Independent Living, WIC/DCF offices and at any elections office. You can also register to vote in person at the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office: 119 W. Kaley Street, Orlando, FL 32806. (407) 836-2070.


Orlando Community News, 2019



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Back to School: Sales Tax Holiday Starts Friday, Aug. 2

In addition to the numerous Back to School giveaways throughout the Orlando area where parents can get free school supplies for their children, the State of Florida kicks off its Back- to-School “Sales Tax Holiday” Aug. 2-6, Friday- Tuesday, when parents can also save some money/don’t pay taxes when they go out and buy certain school supplies. Everyone would agree: every little bit helps and the savings can add up especially if there is more than one school age child in a household.

Common items parents, guardians and village supporters can save tax monies on include: qualified school supplies ($15 or less), qualified computers and accessories ($1000 or less), as well as clothing, footwear and some accessories ($60 or less).  You can find a complete list on the state’s Department of Revenue website:






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Local Elections Today

March 12, 2019, Orange County, FL – Don’t say you didn’t know! Mailings have gone out, candidates’ signs are on the sides of main streets and you’ve read about it here: Local elections for mayor and city commissioners are today in Ocoee, Winter Park, Belle Isle and Windermere. So if you live within your city limits and you are an eligible voter for today’s elections, do your civic duty – go to your polling place and vote! Go Belle Isle: You all are voting for a MAYOR!  Go Ocoee: Some of you all have an opportunity to make history by electing a second Black person to your city council.

If you’re not sure if you’re in a district that has an election today or you’re not sure where your polling place is, contact the Orange County Supervisor of Elections  office or your city clerk’s office. Supervisor of Elections: (407) 836-2070,


Orlando Community News, 2019


Posted in Community news that can help

City Elections: Early Voting Now Through Friday


March 5, 2019 – Early Voting has started and will run through this Friday for city elections throughout Orange County.  Four cities in the county have elections a week from today, on Tuesday, March 12, including Ocoee and Windermere here in west Orange County.

If you live within one of those city limits and you are an eligible registered voter, you should have gotten a sample ballot in the mail from the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office. (Or a vote-by-mail ballot, if you requested one) Sample ballots include details about your polling place, the public offices up for grabs and the candidates wanting to represent you in those public offices.

Early voting has become more and more popular for registered voters because they can vote when it’s convenient for them, not just on Election Day (typically on Tuesdays when people work).

While some voters like to mail their ballots, they may have had a change of heart, especially in Florida, after the Mid-Term Election last November. Some people who voted by mail found themselves researching their ballot online and/or by making phone calls, days after the election to make sure their vote actually counted. With crucial races being decided on, such as Florida governor, there was widespread concern over ballots not signed, signatures on the ballots not matching signatures on file at elections offices and ballots not delivered to the elections office on time.  

Voting early or on election day may be the better options. 

For details on upcoming city elections, contact your city clerk’s office or go to the county Supervisor of Elections Office website: or call (407) 836-2070. 

Orlando Community News, 2019



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