Southwest Florida voter registration deadline on Monday

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A woman dropping off a ballot. Credit: WINK News

Florida’s primary elections are on Aug. 23, and if you plan on voting, Monday is your last day to register or change your party affiliation. Florida is a closed primary state, so if you plan on voting for a person in a particular party in the primary elections, you need to be registered to that political party.

The fastest way to register to vote in Florida is through the state Supervisor of Elections.

So many people have moved to Southwest Florida that it is impacting our elections, and that could impact where you vote. Both Collier and Lee counties are seeing a significant increase in the number of registered voters this year. Lee County alone is seeing an extra 21,000 voters compared to the primary election just two years ago.

Redistricting has impacted how many early voting sites will be in Collier and Lee counties this year, and there are a few things election officials want you to remember before you vote.

“Here in Collier County, locally, we do have two county commission districts that are going to be closed,” said Trish Robertson, public relations official for Collier Votes. “You have to be Republican in order to vote in those, that’s District Two and Four; you also have to reside in those districts. And then, if you look at the state level, you have the governor’s race, which you would have to be Democrat in order to register or in order to vote in that partisan contest.”

Lee County has increased the number of early voting sites from 11 to 12 (Collier County has added two more) and has already mailed out around 165,000 vote-by-mail ballots. Tommy Doyle, supervisor of elections for Lee County, says he expects that number to get closer to 180,000.

Doyle also urges people to keep track of where they have to go in order to vote.

“We send out voter information cards… you don’t have to have those cards to vote, but they have information that you need to know, because with redistricting we have changed all the precinct names, and some pre-voting sites have changed for voters, so they need to make sure they check that,” Doyle said.

At 9 a.m. on Monday, election officials will do a public test of the voting machines and equipment at the Lee County Elections Center, located at 13180 S. Cleveland Ave.

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