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Election day is Tuesday: Early voting wraps up Saturday

By Staff | Aug 26, 2016

With early voting wrapping up this weekend, the primary election is scheduled for Tuesday.

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

As of Thursday evening, over 6,500 people had taken advantage of early voting.

According to Vicki Collins, a spokeswoman with the Lee County Elections Office, there were approximately 6,740 early voters countywide who took part in the 2014 primary election.

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 sites can be found online at: http://www.lee.vote/.

Collins 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,” she said, referring to if a problem interferes with getting to the precincts. “If you choose to vote early, it would already be done.”

She pointed to the potential storm brewing as one example.

“In case Tuesday gets bad,” Collins said.

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

As of Thursday, approximately 156,018 mail ballots had been requested countywide for the primary. An estimated 148,266 had been mailed out by the Elections Office, with about 73,280 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. Tuesday.

While they can be put in the mail – postage is covered – officials recommend that voters drop them off at one of the drop boxes if they have not been mailed yet to ensure they are received in time.

“Any vote-by-mail ballot delivered to (the) main office after 7 p.m. Election Day will be accepted but cannot be tabulated,” Collins said.

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 Tuesday, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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

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

Again, a photo identification with signature will be required to vote.

Those who need to locate their polling site can contact the Lee County Elections Office or visit the website. Those looking for their precinct, or in need of an address change, should do so immediately.

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

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

“This is a very important election,” Collins said. “They’re all very important, but this is their local people and they need to be involved.”

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.

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

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


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.