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Record-breaking number: 215,020 mail ballots to go out on Tuesday here in Lee

Record-breaking number

By CJ HADDAD - | Sep 24, 2020

With election day right around the corner, the Lee County Elections Office is set to mail out a record-breaking 215,020 vote-by-mail ballots this coming Tuesday.

With COVID-19 still present in the community, the elections office has urged those who do not feel safe enough to vote at polling locations in person to cast their vote a different way heading into Nov. 3.

“We encourage everyone to request a vote-by-mail ballot for the Nov. 3, General Election,” said Lee Elections Office spokesperson Vicki Collins. “It is the safest and most convenient way of voting. For voters who decide to vote in-person, consider the vote-by-mail ballot as a back-up plan that provides them with a guaranteed method to cast their vote. In the event an emergency arises, and they are not able to vote in person during the Early Voting period, or at the polls on Election Day, they still have the option to use their vote-by-mail ballot to cast their vote.”

Florida law mandates voted ballots must be physically returned to the Lee County Supervisor of Elections Office by 7 p.m. on Election Day. The United States Postal Service recommends that voters mail their voted ballots one week before the due date to account for any unforeseen events such as weather issues, and to allow for timely receipt and processing by the elections office.

Voters may drop off their voted ballots at secure drop boxes located at all four Lee Elections office locations Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and until 7 p.m. Nov. 3, Election Day.

Locations include:

* Cape Coral Branch Office – 1039 S.E. 9th Ave, Cape Coral

* Elections Center – 13180 S Cleveland Ave, Fort Myers

* Main Office – Melvin Morgan Constitutional Complex, 2480 Thompson St., 3rd Floor, Fort Myers

* Bonita Springs Branch Office – 25987 S Tamiami Trail #105,Bonita Sprins

According to Collins, drop boxes will be available at all 11 Early Voting sites ONLY during Early Voting, Monday, Oct. 19, through Saturday, Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. For a complete list of Early Voting sites and directions visit www.lee.vote.

Races in the 2020 General Election include:

U.S. House of Representatives D-19:

The District 19 U.S. House of Representatives race comes down to Republican nominee Byron Donalds and Democratic choice Cindy Lyn Banyai.

Donalds earned the nomination in a crowded GOP primary, edging out State Rep. Dane Eagle in a closely contested race.

Banyai defeated David Holden to earn her party’s nomination.

Patrick Post has qualified for the General Election as a write-in candidate.

State Senate District 27

The Florida Senate District 27 race features Republican nominee Ray Rodrigues against unopposed Democrat Rachel Brown.

Rodrigues defeated Heather Fitzenhagen to earn his party’s nomination.

State House District 77:

The District 77 State Representative race sees Republican choice Mike Giallombardo taking on Democrat Joshua Lopez.

Giallombardo defeated Bryan Blackwell in the GOP Primary Election.

Cape Coral City Council:

City of Cape Coral municipal elections are nonpartisan with all seats elected citywide — all voters in the city may vote in all of the city council contests that will appear on the General Election ballot, regardless of party affiliation or the district in which they live.

The races are:

District 2: Bryan DeLaHunt and Dan Sheppard

District 3: Chris Cammarota and Tom Hayden

District 5: Louis Navarra and Robert Welsh

District 7: Jessica Cosden, (incumbent) and Derrick Donnell

Lee County Commission:

County Commission District 1: Kevin Ruane, Republican. Kelsey Hotchkiss, a write-in candidate has also qualified.

County Commission District 3: Ray Sandelli (incumbent) Republican and Todd James Truax, Democrat. Molly Hannigan has qalified as a write-in.

County Commission District 5: Frank Mann (incumbent) Republican and Juan Gonzalez, Democrat. Kayley McHugh has qalified as a write-in.

Lee County School Board:

School board races are non-partisan and are elected by district with the exception of the at-large race, which is open to all voters regardless of party affiliation or the district in which they live.

District 2: Melisa Giovannelli (incumbent) and John F. “Jeff” McCullers.

District 3: Chris Patricca (incumbent) and Jacqueline Perez.

District 7, at large: Cathleen Morgan (incumbent) already elected in Primary.

Lee County Sheriff

Candidates for Lee County Sheriff, a constitutional office are Carmine Marceno, (incumbent) Republican; Robert Neeld, Democrat; and Michael “Coach Ray” Qualls and Carmen McKinney, both of whom are running with no party affiliation.

Lee County Property Appraiser

Republican primary victor Matt Caldwell. Elaina Cosentino has qualified as a write-in candidate.

The General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 3, with early voting from Monday, Oct. 19 through Saturday, Oct. 31, also from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj