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Orlando mayoral candidates vie for last-minute votes on Election Day

Voters can choose between three candidates

ORLANDO, Fla. – Candidates running for Orlando mayor were stumping for last-minute votes as polls opened Tuesday for Election Day.

Incumbent Mayor Buddy Dyer, who was elected 16 years ago, was at the Dr. James R. Smith Neighborhood Center. With Dyer seeking another reelection, he spoke about his record in office.

"People know where I stand on the issues," Dyer said. "They know I do what I say I'm going to do. They know if we say we're going to do it, we actually get it done."

Dyer has two challengers this election year: Orlando Commissioner Samuel Ings and U.S. Navy veteran and businesswoman Aretha Simons.

Ings gave up his position on the city commission to run for mayor and previously spoke with News 6 about the need for public safety to be addressed at a higher level.

"We need to build better relationships between the police and the community so that the people will feel safe and confident in knowing that the police is there for them," Ings said.

[RELATED: Aretha Simons discusses why Orlando needs new leader | Here's what Mayor Buddy Dyer has in store for Orlando | Orlando mayoral candidate Sam Ings says protecting the citizens of Orlando is in his DNA ]

In October, Simons sat down with anchor Justin Warmoth on "The Weekly on ClickOrlando.com" to discuss her platform and why she should be elected mayor.

"People want their voices to be heard," Simons said. "We are a world-class city, but do the people feel that way? No, they want somebody who will listen to their voices, and that's why I want to change the city council meetings to nighttime, so working people can come and have their voices heard."

Approximately 25,000 more people have registered to vote in Orlando over the last four years, but despite that number, Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles said turnout at the polls was expected to be low.

"There is 7 percent of the voters that have voted (as of Tuesday morning).  I would expect it would get more up to about 20 percent before the day's out," Cowles said.

In Orlando, the only two positions with multiple candidates are Orlando mayor and the city commission seat that was vacated by Ings.


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