While the general election is nearly five months away on November 8th, decision time for those thinking about entering local races ends at noon next Friday, June 24th. Qualifying week for local, county and special district elected office begins at noon on Monday, June 20, 2016 and ends at noon, Friday, June 24, 2016. Qualifying information is available for Special District and Lee County elections at the Lee County Elections Office, www.lee.vote or by calling 239-LEE-VOTE.
Seats on the Fire, Library or Mosquito Boards are non-partisan and will appear on the November ballot. Special District candidates run for specific seats. The filing fee for Special Districts is $25.
The Fort Myers Beach Fire Control District Seats #2 (currently held by John Pohland) and 4 (Larry Wood) will be on the ballot. The board holds two meetings per month and board members are paid $500/month.
The Fort Myers Beach Mosquito Control District has Seat #2 (Joanne Semmer) and #3 (Margaret Whipple) on the ballot. The board meets monthly and board members are compensated $400/month.
Fort Myers Beach Library Seat #5 (Sallie Seabury), #6 (Lorrie Wolf) and #7 (Miffie Greer) will be elected in November. Meetings are held monthly with no compensation.
District 1, 3 & 5 Lee County Commission seats will be on the ballot this year. All Lee County voters vote for all district commissioners.
The Lee County School Board will see some big changes this year. In 2014, voters approved a shift from district wide voting for all five seats, to single district voting in each of the five districts, plus the election of two at-large seats. Island voters will vote for District 3, plus the two new at-large seats in the August Primary.
Lee County voters will also weigh in on the Lee County Clerk of Court, Property Appraiser and Tax Collector elections plus the Sheriff and Supervisor of Elections.
District 1, 3 and 5 seats on the Lee Memorial Health System Board of Directors will be on the November ballot also.
Island voters will see a list of State Supreme Court and District Appellate judicial candidates in November, but will likely see State House District 76 and Senate District 27 candidates on the Primary Election ballot in August.
Local voters will weigh in on the Presidential race in November and they will also be selecting a U.S. Senator to fill Marco Rubio’s seat and a U.S. Congressional representative to fill Curt Clawson’s seat. The August primary will allow party members to choose their party’s choice for the November ballot to face NPA and write-in candidates.
Who Can Vote?
Primary Election: You must be a registered voter in Florida by August 1, 2016 to vote in the Primary Election on August 30th. To vote in the primary, you must have registered to vote as a member of the Republican or Democrat Party. Florida is a closed primary state. Voters without a party affiliation are not eligible to vote for party candidates in a primary election, except when:
-All candidates in the same race have the same party affiliation, and the winner will have no opposition in the general election (no NPA or write in candidates), known as a Universal Primary Contest
-nonpartisan offices appear on the primary ballot
-other nonpartisan local offices appear on the primary election ballot, or
-referendum questions appear on the primary election ballot
General Election: All registered voters by October 11th can vote in the November 8th election. Voters can update a registration, but new registrations will not be effective until after the election.
Voter Registration Sites
Lee County Elections Office maintains several locations where voters can register in person. Visit www.lee.vote or call 239-LEE-VOTE to find an election office, find your precinct, ask for a voter registration form, request a vote-by-mail ballot or find your elected officials. As we approach the August and November elections, sample ballots will also be available.
Watch for a full listing of qualified candidates in the Island Sand Paper once qualifying is complete.