Early voting set to begin Tuesday
Early voting in the Cape Coral municipal election starts Tuesday and runs for five days through Saturday, Sept. 9.
Voters have two locations in Cape Coral at which they can cast their ballots for Mayor and City Council candidates in the Primary Election. Hours and locations are 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the Cape Coral Public Library, 921 SW 39th Terrace; and the Lee County Supervisor of Elections branch office at 1039 SE 9th Ave.
“Cape Coral residents who work in Fort Myers also are able to vote at any of the Fort Myers early voting locations,” said Supervisor of Elections Tommy Doyle.
Those locations are: Fort Myers Housing Authority, 4224 Renaissance Preserve Way; Dunbar-Jupiter Hammon Public Library, 3095 Blount Street; Fort Myers Regional Library, 2450 First Street; Fort Myers Fire Station No. 5, 9700 Treeline Ave.
Voters need to have an approved photo ID with them at the polling place whether voting early or at their assigned precinct. On election day voters must appear at their assigned precinct.
There will be 30 precinct polling places open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. throughout the city on election day, Tuesday, Sept. 12.
Cape Coral municipal elections are non-partisan, city-wide elections, meaning registered voters may cast a ballot in all races regardless of party affiliation and the district in which the voter resides.
Only the races for Mayor and City Council seats in District 1 and 4 appear on this Primary ballot since there are more than two candidates in each race. The two candidates in each race who draw the most votes advance to the General Election on Nov. 7. There are only two candidates running for council seats for District 5 and 6 and go directly on the General Election ballot.
The seven candidates running for Mayor include council member Rana Erbrick, Joe Coviello, Derrick Donnell, Michael Hollow, Kevin Koch, April Freeman and Daniel Sheppard.
Candidates on the ballot for the District 1 council seat are Graham Morris, John Gunter and James Foraker. Jeffrey Jones and Jennifer Nelson are challenging incumbent Richard Leon for the District 4 council seat.
Doyle said his office mailed out more than 29,600 vote-by-mail ballots to Cape Coral registered voters on Aug. 7. As of Wednesday, just 6,787 ballots had been returned, accepted and verified.
“That seems low to me, but there is still a lot of time left,” Doyle said. “I think voters are hanging onto them while evaluating candidates, especially the mayor’s race with so many candidates.”
As of Wednesday, more than 11,350 ballots for the combined elections in Cape Coral and Fort Myers had been returned.
Sept. 6 is the last day a voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed to their residence. Voter registration books have closed for the Primary, but will open up again before the General Election in November.
Vote-by-mail ballots must be received in the main Supervisor of Elections office (Constitutional Complex, 2480 Thompson St., third floor) by 7 p.m. Sept. 12 (no exceptions). Anyone can hand deliver a vote-by-mail ballot to the Cape Coral elections branch office until 3 p.m. on Sept. 12; or the Election Center, 13180 S. Cleveland Ave. (across from Bell Tower Shops behind Robb & Stucky) will accept ballots until 5 p.m.
Early voting for the General Election runs from Oct. 30-Nov. 4.
For more information contact the Lee County Elections Office at 239-533-8583, or visit www.lee.vote.