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Cape Council Primary is Tuesday

By Staff | Sep 5, 2013

With two days remaining for early voting in the Cape Coral City Council Primary Election, and Election Day Tuesday, people haven’t exactly been beating down the doors for their opportunity to vote.

At least not yet.

The Cape Coral Elections Office branch at 1031 S.E. 9th Place has barely registered a trickle of voters looking to vote for candidates for mayor or in District 1, the two races on the primary ballot.

As of Thursday afternoon, 1,092 voters came to vote in person. That is fewer than the 1,309 absentee ballot requests that have been received, with just 465 returned so far.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot was Wednesday.

City Clerk Rebecca van Duetekom said it’s too early to glean anything from the numbers.

“I can’t tell if it’s keeping with our standard returns or not. I’m not familiar where we would be at this point,” van Duetekom said. “Maybe some people want to wait until voting day. Some people don’t want to early vote.”

In 2011, 11.1 percent of registered voters cast ballots – 10,355 out of 92,995 eligible voters cast a ballot, with 2,908 voting early and 1,242 casting absentee ballots.

Early voting continues today from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the office in Cape Coral or at the Constitutional Complex at 2480 Thompson St. in Fort Myers on the 3rd floor.

The lack of turnout for local elections baffles Lee Elections Supervisor Sharon Harrington.

“I always say that your city government is the only people you have the best access to if you need something,” Harrington said. “The further out you go, the bigger the issue is, the less they’re going to listen to you.”

Van Duetekom echoed those sentiments, saying that primary election serves its purpose.

“No matter if you vote early or in the precinct, we need to encourage people to vote and be engaged,” Van Duetekom said. “Some people may not see the importance of the primary or reducing the field.”

This primary election, six candidates are running for the mayor’s seat – Daniel “Dan” Ashby, Alan “A.J.” Boyd, David P. Carr, Vincent A. Cummings, Marni Lin Sawicki and incumbent John J. Sullivan.

Four are running for the District 1 council seat – James “Jim” Burch, Steven L. Golub, David R. Headd and Graham Madison Morris. The seat has no incumbent as Councilmember Marty McClain is not seeking re-election.

The top two vote getters in each non-partisan race will advance to the general election, which will also feature the District 4 and 6 seats, in November.

All registered voters can vote in every race on the ballot in both the primary and the general election: City council races are non-partisan, and all council members are elected citywide, although officials must live in the district they represent.

For more information you can log onto the Lee County Elections Website, www.leeelections.com or the city Website, capecoral.net.