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Early-voting numbers continue to climb

By Staff | Oct 27, 2010

Wednesday was the last day to request a mail-in ballot from the Lee County Supervisor of Elections office, but sample ballots are still available for those voters who want to study the races before heading to the polls.
Cape Coral is still doing well in early voting numbers, but has fallen behind Bonita Springs as the second most popular early voting destination, according Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 5,459 had taken advantage of early voting in Cape Coral, while 5,559 people have voted in the Bonita Springs’ office.
Almost 7,000 people voted in the Elections Center near Bell Tower in Fort Myers, while 23,821 people have voted county-wide. Harrington said that early voting numbers for the general election are far ahead of the numbers for the primary.
Harrington added that the lines and wait times at the Cape Coral branch office have been short because people have been studying their sample ballots before heading to the poles.
She said the early voting turnout will likely have an effect on election day.
“I’m sure this will take the heat off of the precincts on election day,” Harrington said. “But I think it’s taking people a little bit longer than they realized.”
Harrington said, too, that all Lee County military personnel, stationed either stateside or abroad, have already received their absentee ballots.
She said they were sent on Sept. 18, and that roughly 850 Lee County military personnel will have the chance to vote in November’s general election.
“Military personnel have an extra 10 days after the election to get their ballots back to us and have their votes counted,” Harrington said.
In Lee County, which has a minimal enlisted military population compared to other communities in Florida, Harrington said their votes would probably not sway local elections.
But she did add that in cities like Jacksonville, absentee military votes could help to make or break local races.
“In places like Jacksonville and Pensacola, places where they have large bases, those votes could definitely sway local elections,” she said.
Sample ballots are still available from Harrington’s office. Just call 533-VOTE to request a sample ballot.