Friday , October 31 2014
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COASTAL COMMENTS

Donna Fiala

donnafiala@colliergov.net

 

Reminders and answers:

Let’s face it – everyone is talking about the elections. Some of the talk is mean-spirited, some doesn’t even come close to the truth, some implies a meaning that isn’t truthful, etc.

Well, today we’re going to take a different tack and just fill you in on a few answers to questions people have been asking repeatedly over the last few weeks.

First, and foremost: The Primary Election. As many have heard, Florida is a “Closed Primary” state, but that is where the confusion begins. If you have a specific candidate you want to vote for who might be a Republican, and there are one or two (or more) candidates running against your choice candidate and they are ALL Republicans and no other challengers from any other party, which would take the voting to the General Election (I hope I said that clearly enough) then everyone of any party affiliation can vote!

For instance, there are only two candidates running for the Clerk of Courts position and they are both Republicans. You are an Independent. Can you vote in that race? Yes, you can! The same holds true for the Tax Collector (both Republicans) and the Property Appraiser (both Republicans). So – any registered voter from any party can vote for his or her choice in these races because no one else from any other party is running against them, and the winner of this Primary vote is the all-out winner and does not have to proceed to the General Election. It is all over in the Primary! This, by the way, is why it is so important to vote in the Primary, because in many cases the Primary is the deciding vote for local races. In other cases, (like mine for instance), the Primary will decide which candidate wins and goes on to face another opponent from a different political party, or even a write in candidate, in the General Election. If your favorite candidate doesn’t make it in the Primary, you won’t be able to vote for that person in the General Election – as is the case for both the District One Commissioner and the Sheriff. When you think about the Congressional and Senatorial Candidates, and there are quite a few of them, only ONE will emerge the winner in each race to go on to the General Election to face the other party candidate. Of course, in the General Election, all party affiliations can vote for any candidate in any party, unlike the Primary.

Also, as a last reminder! If you are voting by Absentee Ballot – PLEASE SIGN not print YOUR NAME ON THE OUTSIDE MAILING ENVELOPE where it asks for your signature and address. Do not print your name, do not have someone else sign the envelope for you (the signatures MUST MATCH your signature on file in the Elections Office (the signature you used when you registered to vote) or the Elections Office cannot even OPEN the envelope to count your vote. There have been people who signed for their spouse or their young adult or their sickly parent, or they’ve just used their return address label, or their writing has changed since they registered many years ago. None of those votes can be counted, and those votes are so precious! As all of us know, elections can be won by just a few votes! I remember years back when Jim Coletta lost the race for Commissioner by 36 votes!

See you at the Polls! (or at the mailbox)

P.S. It’s now too late to change your party affiliation to vote in the Primary. The last day for that was July 16th.


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