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What's happening at the polls in Lee & Collier County

Tom Bayles
The line to vote winds around the Cape Coral Lee County Public Library building on Tuesday morning growing from 20 people to 300 within three hours of the 7 a.m. opening.

As voters continue to cast their ballots across Southwest Florida, Election officials in Collier and Lee counties are reminding residents to research their polling location before getting in line and to bring along some patience.

With redistricting in Collier County after the 2020 Census and Hurricane Ian impacting the entirety of Southwest Florida, it’s not a typical Election Day.

In Collier County, Trish Robertson, Collier County Elections Public Relations Officer, says it’s been a steady morning, but they’ve seen an increase of address changes, which could change a voter’s polling location.

"If you're going to an old polling location, based off your old address we’re going to have to send you somewhere else, because if we do an address update that might put you at a precinct across town depending on where you live," said Robertson.

Robertson also reminds voters to bring a valid I.D like a driver’s license, when voting today. Completed Vote-by-Mail ballots must be returned to the Supervisor of Elections office by 7 p.m. today at 3750 Enterprise Ave, Naples FL 34104 or to one of the satellite offices until 6 p.m.:

  • North Collier Government Services Center, 2335 Orange Blossom Dr, Naples FL 34109
  • Heritage Bay Government Services Center, 15450 Collier Blvd, Naples FL 34120

Voted mail ballots will not be accepted at polling sites or at any other location. Voters who received a ballot in the mail and decide to vote in person should bring their ballot to their precinct to be canceled and may vote a regular ballot.
In Lee County, there are only 13 places to vote throughout the county due to the impacts from Hurricane Ian. Voters in Lee can cast a ballot at any of the 13 locations. Supervisor of Elections Tommy Doyle says lines are long, but they’re moving.

“Everybody seems like they are joyful and happy to be voting," said Doyle. "They don’t mind standing in line as long as it’s moving.”

Despite the severe reduction of places to vote in Lee County, Doyle says there have been no issues at the 13 polling locations as of Tuesday morning.

Polls will be open until 7 p.m. tonight. Any voters waiting in line at 7 p.m. will be allowed to cast a ballot.

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