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PUBLIC NOTICE: Primary Election Ballot Breakdown 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE
RELEASE

July 13, 2012

For more information contact:

The upcoming Primary Election on August 14th has a variety of local and state contests, as well as other issues, on which Collier County voters can exercise their right to choose. Knowing exactly what to expect on your ballot will help voters prepare for this Election.

Primary elections are perhaps most known for contests between candidates of the same party for a particular office, to select that party\'s nominee for the General Election. Florida is a "Closed Primary" state, so only registered Democrats and Republicans may vote for their respective party’s candidates in a Primary Election.

However, if all candidates for an office in a Primary Election have the same party affiliation, and the winner will not face opposition in the General Election, then the contest is a "Universal Primary" and all eligible registered voters, regardless of party affiliation, may vote for that office. The Primary then determines the winner in that contest. 

Additionally, all eligible registered voters may vote in a Primary Election on issues in their districts, such as referendums, and nonpartisan candidates, such as school board and Judicial candidates.

Due to the different contests available in the Primary to voters of different parties or no party affiliation, and various issues that affect certain locations, there is no one single ballot for all Collier County voters or even all voters in one precinct. In fact, for this Election, the elections office has created a requisite 224 different ballot styles.

As a registered Collier County voter, what can you expect to see on your Primary Election ballot? In the Primary, each voter receives a ballot based on their residence address AND political party affiliation. Overall, countywide there are:

  • 9 contests in which only registered Democrats and Republicans may participate – closed Primaries
  • 4 open contests – Universal Primaries – available to any eligible registered voter
  • 6 nonpartisan contests in which any eligible registered voter may participate
  • 2 local referendums and 1 straw ballot resolution available to any eligible registered voter in specific areas

Your party affiliation and where you live in the county will determine the contests in which you are eligible to participate. The new voter information cards recently mailed to all registered voters will show you your party affiliation as well as specific precinct and district information. Here is a breakdown of all contests that you might see on your ballot.

Closed Primaries, National and State Contests:

  • Republican Party:
    • U.S. Senate race – 4 candidates
    • U.S. Congressional District 19 (previously portions of District 14) – 6 candidates
    • State Representative, Florida House Districts 105 – 2 candidates
    • State Representative, Florida House Districts 106 – 2 candidates
  •  Democratic Party:
    • U.S. Senate race – 2 candidates
    • State Senate District 39 – 5 candidates

Closed Primaries, Local Contests: (all Republican primaries, none Democratic):

  • Sheriff – 2 candidates
  • Board of County Commissioners District 1 – 2 candidates
  • Board of County Commissioners District 5 – 2 candidates
  • Republican State Committeeman – the winner in this contest will be determined in the Primary Election

In all the Closed Primaries you must vote in the party in which you are registered as of July 16, 2012 (known as the “book closing” date). All winners in the above contests, with the exception of the Republican State Committeeman, will go on to face one or more candidates in the November 6th General Election.

Universal Primaries, County Contests:

  • Clerk of Circuit Court
  • Property Appraiser
  • Tax Collector
  • Board of County Commissioners District 3 – limited to registered voters in County District 3

Any eligible registered voter, regardless of political party affiliation or no party affiliation, may vote in these four Universal Primaries (where the nominee would face no opposition in the General). The Primary Election determines the winning candidates who will take office.

Nonpartisan County and Local Contests:

  • 20th Circuit Judge Group 9 – 2 candidates
  • 20th Circuit Judge Group 18 – 2 candidates
  • 20th Circuit Judge Group 26 – 2 candidates
  • 20th Circuit Judge Group 29 – 2 candidates
  • County Judge Group 2 – 3 candidates
  • County Judge Group 6 – 2 candidates

Judicial contests are open to all voters.  To be elected a candidate for judge must receive more than 50% of the vote.  This means that when only two candidates are competing for judge, the race will be decided in the Primary Election.  County Judge Group 2 has three candidates; if no candidate receives more than 50% of the votes in this contest the top two finishers will face each other again on the General Election ballot.

Local Issues:

Lastly, there are two Referendums and one Straw Ballot Resolution on the Primary Election ballot.

  • Marco Island 24/7 Walk-In Clinic Referendum – any eligible registered Marco Island voter, regardless of political party affiliation
  • Hideaway Beach District Bond and Tax Referendum – any eligible registered Hideaway Beach resident, regardless of political party affiliation
  • Immokalee Straw Ballot Resolution – any eligible registered Immokalee voter in the planning area, regardless of political party affiliation

A referendum asks the voters in that area to accept or reject a certain proposal. A straw ballot is a vote to determine public opinion on a particular issue, and does not necessarily mean the item will be rejected or accepted based on that vote. For more information on these referendums and resolution, go to www.CollierVotes.com and click on “Election Information”.

Now that you have an idea what might be on your Primary ballot, how can you know for sure what you will vote on? Each registered voter can see exactly what their ballot will look like by visiting www.CollierVotes.com and clicking on “My Sample Ballot”. Additionally, each registered voter (who is not voting absentee) will receive a sample ballot by mail. Feel free to use these ballots in researching your votes; you can even take a marked sample ballot to your precinct on Election Day, or to an early voting site, for reference. 

If you are voting in person, your two options are Early Voting or Election Day. Early Voting for the Primary Election is July 30th through August 11th, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You may choose any one of seven Early Voting locations open throughout the county:

  • Everglades City Hall – 102 Copeland Avenue N, Everglades City
  • Golden Gate Library – 2432 Lucerne Road, Naples
  • Immokalee Library – 417 N First St, Immokalee
  • Library Headquarters – 2385 Orange Blossom Drive, Naples
  • Marco Island Library – 210 S Heathwood Drive, Marco Island
  • Naples City Hall – 735 8th Street S, Naples
  • Supervisor of Elections Office – 3295 Tamiami Trl E, Naples

Election Day – August 14th – is the last day to vote in the Primary Election. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Any registered voter in line by 7 p.m. will be allowed to vote. 

On Election Day, registered voters must vote at their assigned precinct. To locate your assigned precinct, refer to your voter information card or visit www.CollierVotes.com and click on “Find My Precinct”. In 2012, we consolidated Election Day polling locations in Collier County to 59 sites. Therefore, we recommend verifying your polling location before heading off to polls as it may have changed since you last voted.

During Early Voting or on Election Day, voters will be asked to provide valid picture identification with signature. If a piece of identification does not contain both a photo and signature, you may provide an additional form of ID. If you do not have proper identification you will vote a provisional ballot, which will count if your eligibility is verified by the County Canvassing Board. Accepted forms of identification include:

  • Florida driver’s license
  • Florida identification card issued by the DHSMV
  • United States passport
  • Debit or credit card
  • Military identification
  • Student identification
  • Retirement center identification
  • Neighborhood association identification
  • Public assistance identification

When the polls close at 7 p.m. on Election night, the Supervisor of Elections office will begin posting unofficial election results at www.CollierVotes.com. The first results posted reflect a combined total of the results from mail/absentee ballots and Early Voting. Subsequent postings will continue until the results from all precincts have been reported. Election results will be certified on August 21st

As always, our office is here to help with all your voting questions. For more information visit www.CollierVotes.com or contact us at (239) 252-8450.

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