Lee and Collier county election officials say they are ready for massive voting by mail in this year’s elections.
Voting-by-mail has become a hot political topic amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
President Donald Trump has denigrated the practice as being subject to fraud, tweeting on April 8 “Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to state wide mail-in voting. Democrats are clamoring for it. Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans.” And he added the same day, “Absentee Ballots are a great way to vote for the many senior citizens, military, and others who can’t get to the polls on Election Day. These ballots are very different from 100% Mail-In Voting, which is “RIPE for FRAUD,” and shouldn’t be allowed!”
At the same time others view it as the single most viable alternative to in-person voting, which may endanger people’s health during the current pandemic. On April 15, a panel of Democratic Party officials urged Florida officials and voters to prepare for a big increase in mailed voting this year, according to Florida Politics.
In Southwest Florida, with its strongly seasonal populations, voting by mail has long been in use.
“Statistics show that vote by mail continues to be the preferred method of Lee County voters, with approximately 51 percent choosing to do so in the 2018 Gubernatorial Election,” Vicki Collins, communications director for the Lee County Supervisor of Elections stated in an e-mail response to questions from The Paradise Progressive.
“Lee Elections is prepared to meet the higher demand for voting by mail in both the August Primary and November General Elections,” she stated.
When it comes to in-person activities, she added, the office is following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “to ensure a safe and sanitary environment for staff and our voters.”