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Early voting can ease congestion at polls

By Staff | Oct 18, 2008

Although many more people are expected to vote in the Nov. 4 general election than did in the Aug. 26 primary, early voters can help reduce long lines and wait times at the polls, Lee County Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington said.

“That’s going to be very important. If they don’t have any (schedule) flexibility on election day they need to vote early,” Harrington said.

Early voting begins Monday at 10 a.m. at five Lee County Supervisor of Elections branch offices. The Cape Coral branch office is located at 1031 S.E. 9th Place. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Harrington also will staff 300 more poll workers in the general election than in the primary and bring in more optical scanning machines in population-dense precincts in an effort to move people through the lines faster.

There will be 2,000 poll workers in Lee County for the general election, compared to 1,700 for the primary, and there will be an extra voting machine at every precinct with more than 3,500 registered voters, Harrington said.

She added that voter education also is key to reducing congestion at the polls.

“The voting booth is not the place to be deciding who you’re going to vote for,” said Harrington, who added that voters can practice on sample ballots available on her Web site, www.leeelections.com.