Early voting begins Monday
Voters looking to beat the Election Day lines can cast their ballot early starting Monday.
Early voting for the Nov. 8 general election will kick off next week and span two weeks through Saturday, Nov. 5. Ten polling sites in Lee County will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“It runs two weeks straight through,” Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington said.
“That includes (Sunday) Oct. 30,” she added.
Voters need to bring their photo signature identification with them.
“They can go to any one of the 10 sites,” Harrington said.
Three of the locations are in Cape Coral.
The sites are listed online at: http://www.lee.vote/.
She noted that a high voter turnout is expected on Election Day.
“If you have a restricted schedule or if you can’t wait in line for an hour, you may want to consider voting early or requesting a mail ballot,” Harrington said.
As of Monday, approximately 184,250 mail ballots had been requested. According to the Lee County Elections Office website, about 173,000 had been mailed and more than 51,000 had been returned.
They can be put in the mail – postage is covered – or dropped off at one of the drop boxes.
“We do have drop boxes for mail ballots,” she said.
Drop boxes are located at the following sites:
Bonita Springs Branch Office, at 25987 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 105, Bonita Springs: Until 3 p.m. Nov. 8
Cape Coral Branch Office, at 1039 S.E. Ninth Ave.: Until 3 p.m. Nov. 8
Election Center, at 13180 S. Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers: Until 5 p.m. Nov. 8
Main Office, at 2480 Thompson St., Third Floor, Fort Myers: Until 7 p.m. Nov. 8
The last day to request a mail ballot locally is Nov. 2.
Voters who would like to request a mail ballot can contact the Lee County Elections Office at 239-LEE-VOTE (533-8683), email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit online at: http://www.lee.vote/.
The ballots must be received at the main office by 7 p.m. Nov. 8 – Election Day.
Harrington noted that her office has received complaints from voters about auto-generated phone calls advocating for one candidate or another. The calls even connect the listener to the Elections Office.
“People are thinking it’s being generated by us,” she said. “That is not the case.”
“They are coming from the various political campaigns or political parties,” Harrington added.
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 following will be on the ballot for the Nov. 8 general election:
President and Vice President
Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence (Republican)
Hillary Rodham Clinton and Timothy Michael Kaine (Democrat)
Gary Johnson and Bill Weld (Libertarian)
Darrell L. Castle and Scott N. Bradley (Constitution)
Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka (Green)
Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente and Michael Steinberg (Reform)
Basil E. Dalack (No Party Affiliation)
Jon Friend (write-in)
Robert Samuel Kaplan (write-in)
Tony Khoury (No Party Affiliation)
Howard Knepper (write-in)
Steven Machat (No Party Affiliation)
Patrick E. Murphy (Democrat)
Bruce Nathan (No Party Affiliation)
Bradley J. Patrick (write-in)
Marco Rubio (Republican) – incumbent
Paul Stanton (Libertarian)
Charles Frederick Tolbert (write-in)
Angela Marie Walls-Windhauser (write-in)
19th Congressional District
David Byron (write-in)
Robert M. Neeld (Democrat)
Francis Rooney (Republican)
Timothy John Rossano (write-in)
Lizbeth Benacquisto (Republican)
Dakota Austin Eads (write-in)
Lee County Sheriff
James Didio (No Party Affiliation)
Mike Scott (Republican) – incumbent
Lee County Commissioners
Larry Kiker (Republican) – incumbent
Eli Zonana (write-in)
Sonny Haas (No Party Affiliation)
Frank Mann (Republican) – incumbent
Diane Zigrossi (Democrat)
Florida Supreme Court Justices
Shall Justice Charles T. Canady of the Supreme Court be retained in office?
Shall Justice Jorge Labarga of the Supreme Court be retained in office?
Shall Justice Ricky L. Polston of the Supreme Court be retained in office?
Second District Court of Appeal Judges
Shall Judge John Badalamenti of the Second District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
Shall Judge Marva L. Crenshaw of the Second District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
Shall Judge Patricia J. Kelly of the Second District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
Shall Judge Nelly N. Khouzam of the Second District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
Shall Judge Matt Lucas of the Second District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
Shall Judge Robert Morris of the Second District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
Shall Judge Stevan Travis Northcutt of the Second District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
Shall Judge Samuel Salario Jr. of the Second District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
Shall Judge Craig C. Villanti of the Second District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
Shall Judge Douglas Alan Wallace of the Second District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
Lee County Supervisor of Elections (non-partisan)
Sharon L. Harrington – incumbent
Lee County School Board (non-partisan)
Don H. Armstrong
*Districts 6 and 7 are at-large countywide districts. District 6 will be a two-year term; District 7 will be a four-year term.
Lee Memorial Health System Board of Directors (non-partisan)
District 5 (pick two candidates)
Minnie Henry Jackson
Stephanie Meyer – incumbent
Jessica Carter Peer – incumbent
Lee County Mosquito Control District (non-partisan)
Melissa Dortch – incumbent
Bruce S. Scott – incumbent
No. 1 Constitutional Amendment
Article X, Section 29
Rights of electricity consumers regarding solar energy choice
This amendment establishes a right under Florida’s Constitution for consumers to own or lease solar equipment installed on their property to generate electricity for their own use. State and local governments shall retain their abilities to protect consumer rights and public health, safety and welfare, and to ensure that consumers who do not choose to install solar are not required to subsidize the costs of backup power and electric grid access to those who do.
The amendment is not expected to result in an increase or decrease in any revenues or costs to state and local government.
No. 2 Constitutional Amendment
Article X, Section 29
Use of marijuana for debilitating medical conditions
Allows medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed Florida physician. Allows caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana. The Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers. Applies only to Florida law. Does not immunize violations of federal law or any non-medical use, possession or production of marijuana.
Increased costs from this amendment to state and local governments cannot be determined. There will be additional regulatory costs and enforcement activities associated with the production, sale, use and possession of medical marijuana. Fees may offset some of the regulatory costs. Sales tax will likely apply to most purchases, resulting in a substantial increase in state and local government revenues that cannot be determined precisely. The impact on property tax revenues cannot be determined.
No. 3 Constitutional Amendment
Article VII, Section 6, Article XII
Tax exemption for totally and permanently disabled first responders
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to authorize a first responder, who is totally and permanently disabled as a result of injuries sustained in the line of duty, to receive relief from ad valorem taxes assessed on homestead property, if authorized by general law. If approved by voters, the amendment takes effect January 1, 2017.
No. 5 Constitutional Amendment
Article VII, Section 6, Article XII
Homestead tax exemption for certain senior, low-income, long-term residents; determination of just value
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to revise the homestead tax exemption that may be granted by counties or municipalities for property with just value less than $250,000 owned by certain senior, low-income, long-term residents to specify that just value is determined in the first tax year the owner applies and is eligible for the exemption. The amendment takes effect January 1, 2017, and applies retroactively to exemptions granted before January 1, 2017.
Conservation 20/20 non-binding referendum
Do you approve of Lee County continuing to use general revenue funds to acquire, restore, improve, and manage land for conservation, surface water management, water quality, water recharge and supply, flood control, wildlife habitat, passive public recreation, and open space purposes, pursuant to Lee County Ordinance 15-08 (commonly known as the Lee County Conservation 20/20 Land Program)?