Lee County ballot recount may exceed its 2018 general election budget

Lee County is preparing for a potential recount in a few different ways following the results of the midterm election on Tuesday.

According to Lee County Elections, there are approximately 446,254 registered voters while there were 292,652 constituents, or 65 percent, who cast their ballot.

“Phewww it’s a lot,” Tom Doyle said, supervisor of elections in Lee County. “We’re going to have a lot of overtime involved and we have a lot of temporary help coming in it’s thousands and thousands of dollars.”

Thousands of dollars that could push the county over its $2 million budget for the 2018 general election.

“It’s too much money,” Jeff Phillips said, a Fort Myers constituent. “It’s absolutely is not needed.”

“They spend more money on golf courses,” Crystal Johnson, who is also a constituent in Fort Myers. “I’m perfectly fine with them making sure that everything was done properly.”

Some may be confused with how the recount process works. When there was paper ballots, each vote would be counted to assure accuracy. But with the advent of machines in modern political elections, there is a different process.

First, it is reducing the work load by only recounting votes for candidates, not the amendments.

“Well we have a two page ballot,” Doyle said. “We’re separating those pages, so we instead of scanning 600 thousand pages we only have to scan 300 thousand.”

Then, if a recount does happen, they will test the machines for accuracy and feed the ballots through again.

But, many people who mailed in their ballots are worried their votes did not count the first time.

“When I went to check my vote by mail ballot status online it continues to say received,” Johnson said. “I was looking for it to say ‘tabulated.’

The confirmation finally registered around 4 p.m. on Thursday.

“Refresh your browser and check it,” Johnson said. “Mine said, ‘tabulated,’ so I’m very happy and pleased to know that my vote counted.”

Reporter:Morgan Rynor
Writer:Michael Mora
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