FORT MYERS, Fl. - Early voting is underway in Fort Myers and Cape Coral.  There are several heated races including mayors for each city, as well as a number of city council seats.  Early voting is happening through Saturday at the Lee County Elections office and at the Cape Coral branch office.

While it's a local election and not a presdential one, officials hope voters will still turn out.

"I think it's very important that people understand their obligations concerning voting, we're very privileged in this country to be able to vote," says Frank Altieri.

Whether you choose to go early or wait for election day voters say there is no reason to not cast a ballot.

"It was very pleasant, very easy, I encourage anybody to take advantage of it," says Leslie Kowalski.

Especially with short or no lines expected.  Leaders say local elections are notorious for low voter turnout and they're hoping to see 10 to 15 percent

"People don't put enough value in it and they really should because these  are the first line of officials that you can have access to,"says Supervisor of Elections, Sharon Harrington.

After some of last year's challenges with long lines, Harrington says, they're prepared for this week and election day and  already looking ahead to the next presidential race.

"We are working on not only more equipment coming in, new equipment for check-ins, we're looking at some electronic pool books which is going to make life a whole lot easier at the pools, getting more voting sites," she adds.

MThe polls are open through Friday from 10 to 6pm and then 9 to 5 on Saturday.  There is no early voting on Sunday or Monday.  The general eledction will be Tuesday, the 5th.

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