Florida’s primary election is a week from tomorrow. But early voting began a week ago. And so far election officials in Southwest Florida say they’re surprised by the low turnout. Voters in Charlotte, Lee and Collier Counties haven’t yet taken full advantage of early voting. A total of just 45-hundred people have cast ballots, far below some estimates of tens of thousands who might choose to vote early. Every county in Florida is required to set-up designated sites for people to cast ballots up to two weeks in advance. Lee County Elections Supervisor Sharon Harrington is baffled by the low response.
“I don’t know if people aren’t really getting into this election enough or they may not be aware of it. We’re trying to let everyone know. But I don’t know. It’s interesting because I thought for sure we would have had a whole lot more people coming out because there’s so much that’s going to be determined in this primary election.”
Several county commission races will be decided in the primary. Voters are also choosing a slew of newly-created circuit judge positions and, of course, picking their party’s nominee for governor.
Election officials in Southwest Florida are keeping their fingers crossed that more people will choose to vote early for next week’s primary election. Early voting across Florida started last week. So far, in this region, people have NOT turned out in droves. Collier County Deputy Elections Supervisor Gary Beauchamp says they’ve set up eight locations around the county and about 16-hundred people have taken advantage of early voting.
“It allows people additional time and time that’s convenient to them to exercise their right to vote.”
In Lee County, elections supervisor Sharon Harrington describes early voting as ‘slow but steady’ and she hopes more people will turn out.
“So there’s an awful lot for everyone to vote on regardless of party. You don’t have to be a Republican or a Democrat. If you are no-party or a member of one of what we call the minor parties, there is still a lot on that ballot for people to vote on.”
Voters will choose their party’s nominee for governor, U-S Senate and a host of county commission, school board and judicial races.
Monday, 28 August 2006 01:00
Early Voting TurnoutsWritten by WGCU Newsroom