Voter turnout low in Fort Myers, Cape Coral general election

CAPE CORAL, Fla. Voter turnout in Tuesday’s general election to determine several city leader positions in Fort Myers and Cape Coral was in the teens.

Nearly 14 percent cast their vote in the primary election on Oct. 2 and only 18 percent for the general election. 2,200 people cast an early vote, while 15,000 mailed in their ballots.

In comparison, there was a 78.5 percent turnout on election day in Lee County for the 2016 general election, which included a presidential race.

ELECTION RESULTS: Joe Coviello elected Cape Coral mayor in close race

Lee County Supervisor of Elections Tommy Doyle is pushing for mail-in ballot only election in an attempt to save money and increase votes.

“I’ve been preaching that we should start on early voting and end on election day and not really have an election day, but it’s basically six or seven days of voting and then it ends,” Doyle said.

MORE: Fort Myers, Cape Coral cast ballots on Election Day

More than $590,000 is budgeted for early voting and election day in Fort Myers and Cape Coral and $177,000 is budgeted for mail-in ballots.

“There are many states that are complete mail-in ballot states that don’t even have poll workers, check-ins. They come by, you can drop your mail off at a drop site or mail it in,” Doyle said.

Cape Coral resident Christine Miller spent most of her morning waving signs to urge voters to cast their ballots.

“It’s disappointing to see the very few number of people who came out to vote,” Miller said. “Be the voice for the elderly people who can’t get out here and do that be their voice.”

It could be another 15 to 20 years before electronic voting is possible, because it is not secure enough, according to Doyle.

“You can hack the internet, you can’t hack paper,” Doyle said.

Florida election laws are very specific on how elections are administered and until state laws change, Election Day is here to stay.

Reporter:Britni McDonald
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Writer:Katherine Viloria
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