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Mail ballots on their way

Still time to request one

July 26, 2018
By MEGHAN McCOY (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

If you have requested a mail ballot for the Aug. 28 Primary Election, it's likely on its way.

The Lee County Elections Office mailed 123,164 domestic mail ballots on Thursday and voters should start receiving them next week.

Meanwhile, with the Primary Election less than a month away, election officials encourage voters to make sure they have registered for their political party of choice as the deadline is Monday.

Tommy Doyle, Lee County Supervisor of Elections, said if individuals want to vote for a major party primary candidate, and not just for those in the nonpartisan races, they have to register to vote by Monday, July 30, 29 days before the election. If party registration is made or changed after July 30, it will not go into effect until after the election.

Lee County voters can confirm their voter information on lee.vote, by clicking the red "Check my Voter Registration Status" button, or call the Supervisor of Elections Office at (239) LEE-VOTE (533-8683).

It also is important that voters use a bona fide residential address - not a business address - when registering to vote.

When the Lee County Supervisor of Elections Office finds voters registered at a business, or non-residential address, a certified letter is sent to the voter explaining that they must be registered at their legal residence. Also included in the letter is a Florida Voter Registration application and postage paid envelope.

If the voter fails to respond within 30 days, the office then follows the following procedure as per state law:

* A legal notice is published stating the voter's eligibility to vote is in question and they must contact the Lee County Supervisor of Elections Office immediately.

* If the voter fails to respond within 30 days of the published legal notice, the voter's registration status is changed from 'active' to 'removed' for "not having a legal Florida Residence." If this change is made, the voter will have to register to vote again.

Voters are asked to contact the Supervisor of Elections Office if they believe they may have been registered to vote at a business or non-residential address to ensure they are eligible to vote in the upcoming elections.

Voters who want to request a mail in ballot must do so by Tuesday, Aug. 21. Doyle said if the request is made that close to the primary, the voter is advised to drop their ballot off at one of the drop off sites.

It's best to mail the ballot in at least seven days before election day to ensure it is received by 7 p.m., the time the polls will close on Aug. 28.

"If the ballot is received after 7 p.m. it won't be counted and it is never opened up," Doyle said.

Voters can call the Lee County Supervisor of Elections Office at (239) LEE-VOTE (533-8683), to request a vote-by-mail ballot. It also may be done online at lee.vote.

There are approximately 435,000 registered voters in Lee County. For the 2014 Primary Election, almost 22 percent of the voters cast their vote. The General Election typically attracts triple the number of voters who cast a ballot in the primary. In 2014, 60 percent of voters cast a vote.

"It's hard to say what is going to happen this year because of the dynamics of the politics right now," Doyle said.

For those who like to vote early but still prefer to vote at the polls, there will be 10 early voting sites.

Early voting is set for Saturday, Aug. 18, through Saturday, Aug. 25.

Early voting sites will be open from from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

Sites will include:

* Cape Coral Elections Office, 1039 SE 9th Avenue;

* Cape Coral Lee County Library, 921 SW 39th Terrace;

* Northwest Regional Library, 519 Chiquita Boulevard, North, Cape Coral ;

* North Fort Myers Recreation Center, 2000 N. Recreation Park Way North, North Fort Myers;

* East County Regional Library, 881 Gunnery Road N, Lehigh Acres;

* Veterans Park Recreation Center, 55 South Homestead Road, Lehigh Acres and

* Lee County Elections Center, 13180 S. Cleveland Avenue, Fort Myers.

On Election Day, Tuesday, Aug. 28, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There are 127 polling locations throughout in Lee County and each will have a minimum of 12 poll workers, Doyle said.

"Early voting sites have more, so they can handle any volume that comes in," he said of poll workers.

The poll workers started their training ,which ranges from three to four hours this week.

"We will train 1,800 to 2,000 poll workers and field techs," Doyle said. "There is a lot of new poll workers this year."

This week, "deputies," the poll workers who greet voters, try to keep things orderly and answer any questions, are training.

"I have been into all the classes. Out of 30, 25 are new ones for the position," Doyle said.

The Lee Elections Office is doing what it can to educate voters.

Sample ballots will be mailed Aug. 10 to voters who did not request a vote-by-mail ballots.

"Sample ballots are going to be mailed to everyone who did not request a mail ballot," Doyle said. "We are sending it to a household. You are going to get a sample ballot for the whole household."

Voters can also visit lee.vote to look at their specific ballot.

That's important because ballots vary among the precincts.

For example, there are four school board races - one countywide, meaning everyone votes; and three that are district specific.

"You can go onto lee.vote and download your specific ballot and take it as a 'cheat sheet' if you need it, or a sample ballot," Doyle said.

In regard to mail ballots, requesting one does not obligate a voter to vote by mail; they can still vote at the polls if they wish, Doyle said.

The Primary Election ballot is one page in length. The General Election, Doyle said will be longer due to all of the constitutional amendments.

The local races on the Primary ballot include:

** County-wide Republican primary races (only Republicans may vote on the contests):

* United States Senator: Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente and Rick Scott

* Governor and Lieutenant Governor: Don Baldauf; Ron DeSantis; Timothy M. Devine; Bob Langford; John Joseph Mercadante; Bruce Nathan; Adam H. Putnam and Bob White

* Attorney General Fiscal General: Ashley Moody and Frank White

* Commissioner of Agriculture: Matt Caldwell; Denise Grimsley; Mike McCalister and Baxter Troutman

* State Attorney 20th Judicial Circuit: Chris Crowley and Amira Fox

on contests:

* Representative in Congress District 17 (Only Republicans residing in District 17 may vote) Bill Akins; Julio Gonzalez and Greg Steube

* State Representative District 79 (only Republicans residing in District 79 may vote) Matthew Shawn Miller and Spencer Roach

** County-wide Democratic Primary races (only Democrats may vote):

* Governor and Lieutenant Governor: Andrew Gillum; Gwen Graham; Jeff Greene; Chris King; Philip Levine; Alex "Lundy" Lundmark and John Wetherbee

* Attorney General Fiscal General: Sean Shaw and Ryan Torrens

* Commissioner of Agriculture: Nicole "Nikki" Fried; Jeffrey Duane Porter and Roy David Walker

* Representative in Congress District 19 (Only Democrats residing in District 19 can vote): David Holden and Todd James Truax

* Representative in Congress District 17 (only Democrats residing in District 17 may vote) April Freeman and Bill Pollard

* State Representative District 76 (Only Democrats residing in District 76 can vote): Neilson Croll Ayers and David Bogner

** County-wide, all voters regardless of party affiliation:

* Circuit Judge 20th Judicial Circuit Group 8: James Wesley Chandler and John Owen McGowan

* County Judge Group 7: Maria E. Gonzalez and David McElrath

* School Board Member District 6 (at large; everyone votes): Nicholas Alexander; Lori Fayhee; Betsy Vaughn and Karen Putman Watson

** School Board races, non-partisan, district voters only

* School Board Member District 1, (Only voters residing in District 1, mostly Cape Coral, Pine Island and Sanibel; regardless of party affiliation): Charles B. Dailey and Mary Fischer

* School Board Member District 4, (Only voters residing in District 4, mostly Cape Coral, North Fort Myers and Dunbar, regardless of party affiliation:) Don H. Armstrong; Debbie Jordan; Louis Navarra and Geraldine "Gerri" Ware

* School Board Member District 5, (Only voters residing in District 5, mostly Lehigh Acres, regardless of party affiliation): Gwynetta "Gwyn" Gittens; Moses Jackson; Pamela LaRiviere; Taruas Pugh and Jon Larsen Shudlick

 
 
 

 

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