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Early voting continues thru Aug. 27

By Staff | Aug 24, 2016

With early voting wrapping up this weekend, the primary election is set for Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Early voting kicked off on Aug. 20 and will continue through Saturday, Aug. 27.

“This is a very important election,” Vicki Collins, a spokeswoman with the Lee County Elections Office, said. “They’re all very important, but this is their local people and they need to be involved.”

She urged people to take part in early voting rather than wait until Election Day.

“If something comes up on Election Day, that’s your only option,” Collins said, referring to if a problem arises on Election Day. “If you choose to vote early, it would already be done.”

A total of 10 early voting sites throughout Lee County have been open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Those who decide to take advantage of early voting may visit any of the 10 designated locations.

“They can go to any one of the 10 sites,” she said.

All of the locations can be found online at: http://www.lee.vote/.

Early voters will need an acceptable form of photo identification with signature.

“Mark your sample ballot ahead of time,” Collins said. “It will make your voting process easier.”

As of Friday, approximately 311,112 mail ballots had been requested in Lee County for the primary. Of those, an estimated 292,264 had been mailed out by the Elections Office, with about 115,828 returned.

“They need to make sure they sign their mail ballots by the big red X,” she said.

Mail ballots must be received at the main office by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

They can be put in the mail – postage is covered – or dropped off at one of the drop boxes.

“Get them in as soon as possible because the post office has advised us – for First Class mail delivery – it takes two to three days, sometimes even four days, to deliver it,” Collins said.

“So you want to vote the ballot and turn it in as soon as possible,” she added.

Voters who requested a mail ballot but decide to vote early or on Election Day can do so. They simply bring their entire mail ballot packet, including the envelope, to the polling location and surrender it.

On Election Day, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“They have to vote in their precinct only,” Collins said.

“Don’t wait until the last minute to find out where you vote,” she added.

A photo identification with signature will again be required to vote in person.

Voters who need a change of address should do so immediately.

“Get that taken case of as soon as possible,” Collins said.

Florida is a closed primary state. Only voters who are registered members of political parties may vote for their respective party candidates in a race, according to the Florida Division of Elections website.

However, if all of the candidates in a race have the same party affiliation and the winner will not face any opposition in the general election, then all registered voters can vote for any of the candidates.

Regardless of party affiliation, all voters may cast a ballot in non-partisan races, like the Lee County School Board and Supervisor of Elections, as well as the proposed Constitutional amendment.

With the school board, the newly-added Districts 6 and 7 will be on the ballot. They are at-large districts, meaning that all voters in Lee County can cast a ballot, like with the county commission.

Districts 2 and 3 will also be on the ballot. However, when voters approved in 2014 the board’s expansion from five to seven members, it turned the original five seats into single-member districts. Only voters in those districts can cast a ballot in those races; Districts 2 and 3 are in Fort Myers.

For more information about elections, candidates, early voting, mail ballots or precinct locations, contact the Lee County Elections Office at 239-LEE-VOTE (533-8683) or visit: http://www.lee.vote.

The Aug. 30 primary election ballot includes:

Lee County Commission

District 3 (closed primary)

Dick Anderson (Republican)

Larry Kiker (Republican) – incumbent

District 5 (closed primary)

Ken Dobson (Republican)

Frank Mann (Republican) – incumbent

Lee County Court Judge

County Judge Group 4 (non-partisan)

Leah Harwood

Archie B. Haywood Jr. – incumbent

Lee County School Board

District 6* (non-partisan)

Don H. Armstrong

Charles B. Dailey

Richard L. Dunmire

Jane Kuckel

District 7* (non-partisan)

Derrick Donnell

Guido A. Minaya

Cathleen Morgan

Chris Quackenbush

Betsy Vaughn

*Districts 6 and 7 are at-large districts. District 6 is a two-year term; District 7 is a four-year term.

Lee County Sheriff (closed primary)

Stephanie H. Eller (Republican)

Mike Scott (Republican) – incumbent

Lee County Supervisor of Elections (non-partisan)

Tommy Doyle

Sharon L. Harrington – incumbent

James “Hef” Hefren

Carmen Salome

Dan Sinclair

State Senator

District 27 (closed primary)

Lizbeth Benacquisto (Republican)

Jason Maughan (Republican)

U.S. Representative

19th Congressional District (closed primary)

Dan Bongino (Republican)

Chauncey P. Goss (Republican)

Francis Rooney (Republican)

U.S. Senator

Carlos Beruff (Republican)

Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente (Democrat)

Alan Mark Grayson (Democrat)

Pam Keith (Democrat)

Reginald Luster (Democrat)

Patrick E. Murphy (Democrat)

Ernie Rivera (Republican)

Marco Rubio (Republican) – incumbent

Todd Wilcox (Republican)

Dwight Mark Anthony Young (Republican)

Also on the ballot:

No. 4 Constitutional Amendment

Article VII, Sections 3 and 4

Article XII, Section 34

Solar devices or renewable energy source devices; exemption from certain taxation and assessment

Summary:

Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to authorize the Legislature, by general law, to exempt from ad valorem taxation the assessed value of solar or renewable energy source devices subject to tangible personal property tax, and to authorize the Legislature, by general law, to prohibit consideration of such devices in assessing the value of real property for ad valorem taxation purposes. This amendment takes effect Jan. 1, 2018, and expires on Dec. 31, 2037.