A rainy Monday did not keep people in Lee County from participating in the first day of early voting. Long lines kept voters stuck in the rain for hours.
“All the way down and around the election building and down the side,” John Penn said. “You’re talking hundreds.”
Early voting was busy in south Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Fort Myers.
“I’ve been here since 6:30 this morning,” Elvira Vattle said. “I went to Burger King, got me some breakfast, came here, got my chair, my water, my medicine, and I was ready.”
Some folks were taking a seat in the parking in North Fort Myers, with camping chair set up.
“I’m retired military,” veteran John Klaboe. “I’ve spent my whole life waiting in line.”
Nothing seems to stop Lee County early voters.
“This year, probably the most important of my life,” Penn said. “And I’m 72 so, yeah, we’ve had nowhere else to go. This is what our plan is for today is to get this accomplished and done with.”
“It doesn’t matter what the weather is,” said. “It’s not going to keep people that want to vote from voting.”
We saw voters wearing masks and keeping a social distance from one another.
“The umbrella is making us keep distance,” Klaboe said. “And we bring [my wife’s] own hand sanitizer and hand wipes.”
Voting safely is particularly important for Vattle, who is diabetic. She wanted to watch her vote get counted with her own eyes.
“It was exciting. I had the ball of my life,” Vattle said. “And I ran into the nicest people. We all had a big party out here.”
Important note: People in lines before the polls close will be allowed to vote. Polls closed at 6 p.m. Monday in Lee County. Anyone who arrived after the day’s deadline is expected to be told polls are no longer open.
For those who were in line at the right time, nothing was going to stop them from exercising their rights.
“I don’t care if it was snowing,” Mary Coogan said. “I’d be out here voting.”