Early voting winding down
Lee County voters have two days to cast a ballot early before the Nov. 4 general election.
Early voting remains open today and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 11 polling sites, located throughout Lee County. As of Thursday, approximately 26,521 voters had taken advantage of the opportunity.
“Everything’s been going very smoothly. We haven’t run into any major problems,” Lee County Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington said Thursday. “It’s been pretty steady.”
Of the 122,550 mail ballots requested, 93,650 of them had been returned as of Thursday.
“The mail ballots are way higher than we ever expected,” she said. “We are setting a record with this election.”
Of the returned ballots, only 159 have not been counted due to mismatching signatures.
“It’s a very small minute number,” Harrington said. “People should not panic.”
Mail ballots must be received at the Lee County Elections Office by 7 p.m. Tuesday.
“I’d like to see us have about 95 percent back,” she said.
On Election Day, 127 polling sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Those casting a ballot on Tuesday are required to bring a photo signature identification card, but it is not necessary. Voters who do not have their photo identification will just use a provisional ballot.
“No one should ever leave a voting precinct without voting a provisional ballot,” Harrington said, adding that voters can ask for a provisional ballot. “We never want to turn anybody anyway.”
Voters with an address changes can do so at their precinct. However, they may be directed to a new precinct depending on the new address and they will be asked to step out of the check-in line to do so.
“Just so that we can keep the check-in moving,” she said.
Voters can also contact the Lee County Elections Office before heading to the polls.
“We can take address changes over the phone,” Harrington said.
People who requested a mail ballot but do not use it should bring it with them when they vote.
The ballot needs to be handed over with the envelope – the entire package they received.
Those who do not have their mail ballot can still vote, but it again will take more time to verify and process.
Harrington noted that some voters have complained about receiving a flier in the mail that states that their neighbors know they have not voted. The mailer reportedly includes a list of their neighbors.
“It’s not coming from us,” she said, adding that some information is public record. “The information can be purchased because they (the senders) are a registered political action committee in Florida.”
Public records only indicate whether a person voted or not, not how a person voted.
Voters can find a sample of their ballot, as well as locate their polling site, online.
For more information, call (239) LEE-VOTE (533-8683) or visit: www.leeelections.com.
The following are some of the races on the ballot for the general election:
U.S. House of Representatives,
– Curt Clawson, Republican
– April Freeman, Democrat
– Ray Netherwood, Libertarian Party of Florida
– Rick Scott, Republican (incumbent)
– Charlie Crist, Democrat
– Adrian Wyllie, Libertarian Party of Florida
– Farid Jhavari, no party affiliation
– Glenn Burkett, no party affiliation
– Pam Bondi, Republican (incumbent)
– George Sheldon, Democrat
– Bill Wohlsifer, Libertarian Party of Florida
Chief Financial Officer
– Jeff Atwater, Republican (incumbent)
– William “Will” Rankin, Democrat
Commissioner of Agriculture
– Adam Putnam, Republican (incumbent)
– Thaddeus Thad Hamilton, Democrat
Florida House of Representatives, District 77
– Dane Eagle, Republican (incumbent)
Lee County Board of County Commissions, District 4
– Brian Hamman (incumbent)
– Debbie Jordan
Lee County School Board, District 4
– Don H. Armstrong (incumbent)
– Steve Teuber
The following proposals are also on the ballot for the general election:
– Constitutional Amendment 1, Water and Land Conservation – Dedicates funds to acquire and restore Florida conservation and recreation lands
– Constitutional Amendment 2, Use of Marijuana for Certain Medical Conditions
– Constitutional Amendment 3, Prospective Appoint-ment of Certain Judicial Vacancies
– Lee County charter revision regarding setting consecutive terms of the Lee County Board of County Commissioners
– Proposition to increase Lee County School Board members from five to seven, with five single-member districts