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Packed ballot Nov. 6; Vote-by-mail

October 16, 2018
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Lee Countians planning to vote in the Nov. 6 General Election are facing a lengthy ballot.

Two pages front and back, it is not only rift with federal, state and local races but 12 - yes, 12 - proposed amendments to the state's constitution and a local tax initiative.

That's a lot to take in - and a lot to decide.

Which is why we again join the Lee County Supervisor of Elections Office in urging - strongly urging - voters to opt for a mail ballot this year.

As we said in advance of the Primary, we are among those who love Election Day with all its excitement and traditions.

But we also acknowledge that sometimes the "new" way is the better way and this year that's vote-by-mail.

Those proposed constitutional amendments?

They run the gamut.

There's everything from a Legislature-tendered increase in Homestead property tax exemptions and another that would set limitations on property tax assessments to the mishmash of seven "bundled" - some would say bungled - multi-topic offerings from the state's specially appointed Constitution Revision Commission.

That tax initiative?

The School District of Lee County is asking voters countywide to approve a half-cent sales tax to help fund school infrastructure needs.

And the races on the ballot?

It's an "even" election year and seats up for grabs at the state level include attorney general and chief financial officer as well as commissioner of agriculture and governor, the latter two of perhaps particular importance to anyone who has followed South Florida's coast-to-coast water crisis.

Federal races include the U.S. Senate seat between incumbent Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott as well as two House seats. Lehigh voters vote in either District 17 or District 19, depending on where they live.

The District 17 House race is between Republican Greg Steube and Allen Ellison, named by the Democratic Party to replace April Freeman, who died following the primary.

The District 19 House race is between incumbent Congressman Francis Rooney, a Republican, and challenger David Holden, a Democrat.

On the local level, there are a number of key races.

They include races for district-specific state legislative seats; two district-specific Lee County School Board seats; the District 6 at-large, everyone-votes-school board seat; and the District 2 Lee County Commission faceoff between incumbent Cecil Pendergrass and Bill Taylor, also open to voters countywide.

In Florida, voters do not need an approved reason to opt for the convenience of voting by mail and the process of requesting a ballot be sent your way is extremely easy:

Voters who want to receive a mail ballot can call, e-mail, fax, or mail the request, or they may make it in person at any Lee County Supervisor of Elections branch office.

Call 239-533-8683; fax: 239-533-6322; E-mail:; mail to P. O. Box 2545, Fort Myers FL 33902 or simply visit .

The deadline for mail-in ballot requests is Oct. 31. also offers full information on early voting, the candidates and related information.

Filling out the General Election ballot may not be fast but it can be easy, at least from a convenience standpoint:

Request a vote-by-mail ballot.

Take as much time as you need to make informed decisions.

And then mail that ballot back.

- Observer editorial



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