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Election day is Tuesday

November 2, 2017
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Early voting continues today and Saturday in advance of Tuesday's Cape Coral City Council General Election.

With the mayor's seat, along with those for Districts 1, 4, 5 and 6 posts to be determined, Cape Coral voters will decide who will fill five of eight City Council posts, meaning that voters who cast a ballot this go-around could very well decide the direction the city will take for the next two years.

At the least.

It's an important election for that reason alone.

It's also likely to prove pivotal for reasons unrelated to those seats up for grabs, or even the candidates hoping to fill them.

The 2017 election cycle has firmly demonstrated that voters are not relying on campaign patterns of the past - traditional debates and meet-and-greets right up to the wire - to reach their decisions.

Not only has vote-by-mail become the method of choice for many voters, but those who choose this method - at least for elections such as this one - their minds are made up early.

Consider: Of the 12,920 voters who had cast a mail ballot by Thursday morning, 45 percent returned their ballots in the first four days following the mail "drop." Nearly 60 percent had returned those ballots by the end of the first week, Oct. 13-20.

These percentages are no doubt what they are, in part, due to the abysmal voter turnout in our "small," "off-year" races: Core supporters of a candidate or a particular slate know who they are voting for, fill in those ovals and send the ballots back quickly.

Good for them.

But maybe not so good for the self-disenfranchised registered voter majority, including those who mean to return those mail ballots sitting on the kitchen counter and those who plan to get to the polls by election day but do not.

In the Cape Coral City Council Primary Election, fewer than 13 percent of the 112,000-plus registered voted. Of the 14,899 who cast a ballot, about three-quarters, or 11,112, voted by mail - from among the 30,000 who requested that type of ballot.

This is unfortunate for, plainly put, it doesn't take a lot of votes to win a Cape Coral City Council seat.

And it doesn't take many to lose one.

For those procrastinating, let us stress that every vote does count.

Think this is just rah-rah, get-out-and-vote hyperbole? Well, the Cape Coral mayoral race four years ago was decided by little more than 100 votes. A number of years ago, the city of North Port's mayoral race ended in a tie.

If your vote matters to you, it matters that you vote; it's just that simple.

This election cycle, The Breeze has made endorsements in each of the five City Council races.

To recap, our endorsements are:

Mayor's race:

Vote Michael D. Hollow

Also running: Joe Coviello

District 1

Vote Graham Madison Morris

Also running: John Gunter

District 4

Vote Richard Leon

Also running: Jennifer I. Nelson

District 5

Vote Dave Stokes

Also running: James Schneider

District 6

Vote Rick Williams

Also running: John Karcher

The full endorsement editorials may be found at under Opinions, Editorials.

Breeze election coverage, including bios of each candidate and all of The Breeze issue-related Questions of the Week, may be found at under News, Election 2017.

Cape Coral City Council races are non-partisan, citywide elections, meaning all voters may cast a ballot in each race, no matter their registered party affiliation or the district in which they live.

Early voting for the 2017 Cape Coral Municipal Election continues today and Saturday at two early voting locations: the Lee County Elections Cape Coral Branch Office, 1031 S.E. 9th Place, Unit 3.,and the Cape Coral Library, 921 S.W. 39th Terrace.

Hours of operation are 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. each day.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7. The polls, at precincts across the city, will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

- Breeze editorial



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