In Lee County, early voting began Monday and many voters are taking advantage.
At the Lee County Elections Center at 13180 S. Cleveland Ave., in south Fort Myers, people were lined up around the buildings.
You too can vote early! See a full list of locations and what you need.
Second day of early voting stays busy in Lee County
People waited for up to two hours during the second day of early voting at the Lee County elections office in south Fort Myers. Wait times did go down drastically when it started to rain there Tuesday.
“Well, we are waiting for the drink cart to come back,” Rosie Deffinbaugh said with laughter.
Humor helps when you stand in line for almost two hours like Fred and Rosie Deffinbaugh.
“I thought it ended right up here and then when we parked, I realized, ‘Oh, it goes on and on and on.’” Rosie said.
The two discussed simply turning around and leaving at that point, but this was their second attempt voting after having already tried voting by mail.
“I changed my mind on a vote and scratched it off, and I kind of thought, ‘Well, at least it will invalidate that probably,’ and then I signed her envelope by mistake,” Fred said.
“It’s hilarious?” Rosie said.
So Deffinbaughs stood in line to see their ballot go in correctly.
It’s the same reason Michael Tichy is back in line again.
“I live in Cape Coral. I attempted to do the voting thing yesterday. After about 40 minutes, I said, ‘Forget it.’ I think it was more than two hours,” Tichy said. “Yeah, I’m not too happy about it. But who knows? Every day could be worse than this.”
Our crews witnessed long lines in the morning that seemed to taper off toward the middle of the day in Lee County.
Long lines don’t stop 90-year-old woman from voting in Lee County
It was clear after spending a few minutes with Joanna Davis getting out of a long line for early voting in Lee County was not an option.
“I’m 90 years old, and I’ve never missed a vote,” Davis said.
I did not matter how long it took for Davis to submit her ballot. She took her place alongside hundreds of others, and she liked the fact that others were by her side. That included neighbor Karlen Kochar.
Davis lived through something most people have only read about, an experience that prepared her for her determination to have her voice heard no matter how long it to in line with fellow voters.
“I was born in Germany. I went through World War II,” Davis said. “We lost everything because I was born in East Germany.”
When Davis got to America in the 1950s, she didn’t skip a beat.
“I voted first for Eisenhower,” Davis said.
This election presented different ballots during different times, but voting remains important for Davis. The spirit Davis exuded seemed to pass along to everyone who waited in line with her to vote Tuesday.
“Because it’s your future, my children’s future, my grandchildren’s future,” Davis said.
Woman in Charlotte County casts ballot in her first election
Among some people who were packing early voting lines in Charlotte County were first-time voters.
Cindi Moore, 66, voted for the first time in her life Tuesday. She told us she has been frustrated over the past four years and wanted to make her voice heard. Moore waited an hour to cast her ballot in Charlotte County.
“Yesterday, we drove by because we knew it was the first day,” Moore said. “We had a feeling it was going to be busy.”
There are good things who come to those who wait.
“We figured today it doesn’t seem bad at all,” Moore said. “We figured we might as well get in line.”
Moore’s visit to the Charlotte County West Annex building was anything but cliché.
“I just registered what? A few weeks ago?” Moore said. “I just got my card in the mail a week or so ago.”
It was Moore’s first time voting in a presidential election, any election for that matter.
“I was never into voting before,” Moore said. “I was never into politics for that matter until this past year.”
Moore went decades of her life without filling out a ballot, without waiting in line, without once casting a vote.
“At the very beginning when you voted, I went by driver’s licenses, and I did not want to get picked for jury duty,” Moore said. “In the last four years, I’ve been watching it constantly, and I’ve been getting aggravated. It’s stressful.”
Three early voting sites are open in Charlotte County. Voters can cast their ballots through Nov. 1, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Our crew waited with Moore for about an hour, watching history unfold.
“Now is the time,” Moore said. “It’s definitely the time to vote. It’s an important one.”
Early voting locations in Southwest Florida
Early voting for the Nov. 3 election begins Oct. 19 in Florida and will run through Oct. 31.
Lee County locations: Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day
- Cape Coral Library: 921 SW 39th Ter., Cape Coral
- Lee County Elections, Cape Coral branch: 1039 SE 9th Ave., Cape Coral
- Northwest Regional Library: 519 Chiquita Blvd. N., Cape Coral
- Dr. Carrie D. Robinson Center: 2990 Edison Ave., Fort Myers
- Lee County Elections Center: 13180 S. Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers
- Riverside Community Center: 3061 E. Riverside Dr., Fort Myers
- East County Regional Library: 881 Gunnery Rd. N., Lehigh Acres
- Veterans Park Recreation Center: 55 Homestead Rd. S., Lehigh Acres
- Estero Recreation Center: 9200 Corkscrew Palms Bvd., Estero
- Lee County Elections, Bonita Springs branch: 25987 S. Tamiami Trl., Bonita Springs
- North Fort Myers Recreation Center: 2000 N. Recreation Pkwy., North Fort Myers
Collier County locations: Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day
- Supervisor of Elections Office: 3750 Enterprise Ave., Naples
- Cambier Park Norris Center: 755 8th Ave. S., Naples
- North Collier Regional Park: 15000 Livingston Rd., Naples
- Library Headquarters: 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples
- Golden Gate Community Center: 4701 Golden Gate Pkwy., Naples
- Collier County Government Complex: 3311 Tamiami Trl. E., Naples
- Marco Island Library: 210 S. Heathwood Dr., Marco Island
- Immokalee Community Park: 321 N. 1st St., Immokalee
- Everglades City Hall: 102 Copeland Ave. N., Everglades City
Charlotte County locations: Open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day
- Mac V. Horton West County Annex: 6868 San Casa Dr., Englewood
- Mid County Regional Library: 2050 Forrest Nelson Blvd., Port Charlotte
- Charlotte County Historic Courthouse: 226 Taylor St., Punta Gorda
DeSoto County location: Open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays; 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekends
Supervisor of Elections Office: 201 E. Oak St., Room 104, Arcadia
Hendry County locations: Open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends
- Supervisor of Elections Office: 25 E. Hickpochee Ave., LaBelle
- Supervisor of Elections Office: 1100 S. Olympia St., Suite 504, Clewiston
Glades County location: Open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day
Supervisor of Elections Office: 598 Ave. J., Moore Haven
Early voting information:
As a reminder, it is against the law to take a selfie with your ballot, but it is OK to take a photo of your marked ballot.
Florida law (s. 101.043 FS) requires voters to provide picture and signature identification when voting in person. Picture identification may not be expired. If your signature identification does not contain your signature, an additional identification with your signature is required. Any form of signature identification is acceptable. Signature identification does not need to be current.
The following forms of picture identification are acceptable:
- Florida Driver’s License
- Florida Identification Card (issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles)
- United States Passport
- Debit or Credit Card
- Military Identification
- Student Identification
- Retirement Center Identification
- Neighborhood Association Identification
- Public Assistance Identification
- Veteran Health Identification (issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)
- Florida Concealed Weapon License (issued pursuant to Florida Statute 790.06)
- Government Employee Identification
Voters are encouraged to mark their sample ballot and bring it with them to use as a guide when voting in-person at Early Voting or on Election Day. Sample ballots can be found at your county’s elections website: