Getting ready to vote? Tune in to the Cape Council forum Friday night
The Lee County Elections Office sent out a record-breaking 215,000-plus mail ballots this week with more to go as requests are received.
The office, is, in fact, encouraging Lee Countians to opt for vote-by-mail this election as the pandemic continues, saying “It is the safest and most convenient way of voting.”
It’s also postage paid with no need to burn gas driving to a polling location, no need to queue up for your turn at the ballot box.
Concerned your vote won’t be counted?
Well, you can check the status of your ballot online to confirm that it has been received, and processed.
Or, if using the Postal Service is the concern, you can opt to physically drop your mail ballot at one of the secure drop boxes at any of the four Lee Elections office locations during regular business hours up to the election.
Or you can take advantage of Early Voting. Mail ballots may be dropped off at any of the 11 Early Voting sites during Early Voting only, Monday, Oct. 19, through Saturday, Oct. 31.
Meanwhile, the Nov. 3 General Election is fast approaching and the ballot is a big one. Not only is 2020 a presidential election year, but there are a host of federal, state, county and local seats up for grabs along with six proposed amendments to our state constitution.
Among the amendments is a proposal that would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026; a major change to the state’s primary system that would open some state and federal partisan races to all voters regardless of party affiliation; and one that would require voters to approve constitutional amendments twice before they are could be implemented.
Among the races are four pretty important to the Cape.
Half of the city’s Cape Coral City Council seats are up for grabs in the General Election.
The candidates are Bryan DeLaHunt and Dan Sheppard, running in District 2; Chris Cammarota and Tom Hayden, running in District 3; Louis Navarra and Robert Welsh, running in District 5; and incumbent Jessica Cosden and Dr. Derrick Donnell, running in District 7.
Registered Cape voters may cast a ballot in each of the non-partisan races as Cape Coral City Council members are elected at large, or citywide.
Despite the pandemic and the resultant dearth of forums, there are a number of ways for Cape voters to familiarize themselves with those seeking our votes.
Most of the candidates have web sites and a number of third-party organizations have posted candidate Q&As.
Among the news organizations choosing to do so is The Breeze where candidate bios and our issue-related “Questions of the Week” may be found under Cape News and “Election 2020” on capecoralbreeze.com.
We invite you to read — and we also invite you to tune in.
The Cape Coral Breeze and the Fort Myers News-Press will co-host a televised candidate’s forum from 7-9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 2.
The forum will be televised live on Cape TV, courtesy of the city of Cape Coral, which also will provide the venue at City Hall.
All eight candidates have said they will participate.
The forum will be moderated by former mayor Joe Mazurkiewicz. The questions will be asked by representatives from The Breeze and the News-Press.
Due to the pandemic, the forum will not be open to the public but will be available on the city website, capecoral.net, and on The Breeze Facebook page for both live or at-your-convenience viewing.
Other local races on the Nov.3 ballot include three County Commission races, Lee County Sheriff, a Congressional race, State Senate and House races and more.
As we said earlier, it’s a pretty big ballot.
And it’s a pretty important election from the federal level on down to the local races as we grant those we elect not only power over our pocketbooks but the ability to impact of our lives over the next few years.
And choose wisely when it comes time to fill that ballot out.
— Breeze editorial