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Voters approve two county charter amendments

By Staff | Nov 10, 2008

Lee County voters approved changing the Office of Supervisor of Elections from partisan to non-partisan.

With all but one precinct reporting, County Charter Amendment 1: County Charter Revision relating to the Non-Partisan Election of the Supervisor of Elections, garnered 156,318 votes for 76.32 percent.

The ballot language indicates if three or more candidates qualify for the Supervisor of Elections, the names of all candidates shall be placed on the Primary Ballot with no party affiliation.

Voters also approved extending the reach of an independent Charter Review Commission, with 133,360 votes, or 66.77 percent.

This Lee County Commission-appointed committee meets to propose new charter amendments to commissioners.

This revised charter amendments gives the 15-member committee the opportunity to directly place charter amendments on election ballots if those proposals are approved by a majority vote by committee members themselves, effectively taking county commissioners out of the ballot process altogether.

Former charter review committee member and Fort Myers Beach Mayor Anita Cereceda said in an interview last week she thinks the change is absolutely necessary, as to move the brunt of policy decision issues out of the hands of the county commission and into the hands of Lee County voters.

“It’s giving more power to the people and less to the government,” she said. “It gives people more of an opportunity.”

In addition to the two charter amendments, voters statewide were asked to vote on six constitutional amendments.

Voters were somewhat mixed about the proposed amendments throughout the Cape on Tuesday, some saying they had no clue what the amendments actually were.

“It confuses you what they’re trying to say what the amendment is,” voter Diane Quinn said. “A lot of it I didn’t even vote on.”

20-year-old Jessica Fenske shared those sentiments, saying some of the local races left young people out in the cold.

“They didn’t do a good job with the younger people,” she said. “They’re not getting the information out there. I don’t feel they didn’t do a good job getting the information to the younger people.”