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Official: Voter turnout similar to past elections

By Staff | Nov 5, 2009

Early indications from the Lee County Elections Office found that just over 18 percent of all registered voters in Cape Coral and Fort Myers took part in Tuesday’s general election.

Lee County Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington warned Wednesday that the percentages are not final.

Harrington and her staff still have to sort out the 20,810 ballots cast between Cape Coral and Fort Myers to determine the percentages, and that process will not be complete until Friday, at best.

She is pleased that the general election numbers were up from the early voting numbers, which saw only 3 percent of registered voters in the Cape cast a ballot.

“I was glad to see the number get up to that point, but there were a lot of people who came out just for the general election,” Harrington said.

With 88,500 registered voters in Cape Coral, she said that past general elections in the city have had similar results, while primary elections have always fared poorly.

Harrington said she has no idea how to stir up more interest in the election cycle. It is something that would have to fall squarely on the shoulders of the candidates.

“I wish I knew how to pry them off the couch,” she said of voters. “But that’s up to the candidates. I would have thought, with all the controversy in Cape Coral, there would have been a higher turnout.”

There are 114,648 registered voters in Fort Myers and Cape Coral.

Mike Murphy, a Cape resident for 13 years, said Tuesday outside of the Cape Coral-Lee County Public Library that it is one’s civic duty to vote.

“There should be more people, it’s easy,” he said. “And they can’t complain if they don’t vote.”