The Pandemic Has Changed to Way We Vote

by SC Associate Publisher Chuck Larsen

A total of 2,675 voters cast their ballot in the Sanibel City Council election last week. That was a 42.22 percent turnout from the 5,787 registered voters on the island. As an indication of changes the pandemic has brought about, 69.5 percent of the votes were from mail-in ballots with only 30.5 percent turning out at the polls on election day.

Interest was high for this election with 34 percent more votes cast than in the 2017 council election when Mick Denham, Kevin Ruane and Jason Maughan were elected. Mail-in voters generally participated early as half of the mail-in ballots were already cast by Feb. 16, two weeks before election.

Similarly, the November general election in Lee County saw an 80.7 percent voter turnout with 56.2 percent using mail-in ballots and another 28.8 percent participating in early voting. Only 15 percent turned out on election day, Nov. 3.

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