Mail-in ballots begin going out in CD 19 GOP primary

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Collier County began sending mail-in ballots today for the April 22 GOP special primary for Florida’s 19th Congressional District.

State Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto faces former automobile-wheel manufacturer CEO Curt Clawson; defense industry expert Michael Dreikorn; and former State Rep. Paige Kreegel in the GOP primary set for April 22.

Collier County is overwhelmingly Republican, with more than twice the numbers of registered GOP than Democrats, according to the Supervisor of Elections figures; there are 91,372 Republicans and 43,410 Democrats, 40,584 No Party Affiliation and 4,496 “Other.”

The SOE Office started issuing mail/absentee ballots to overseas and absentee military voters on March 8, on March 18 the list extended to domestic non-uniformed and overseas voters.

Voters wanting to submit requests online can visit www.CollierVotes.com, and click on the “Vote by Mail” tab.

To request a ballot, voters can also call the Supervisor of Elections office at (239) 252-VOTE.

Florida law limits distribution of mail/absentee ballots to only addresses on file with the SOE.

All absentee ballot requests by mail for the primary need to be in the SOE office by 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 16.

After that date, voters can order a request and pick up absentee ballots directly at the SOE office, located at the Collier County Government Complex, 3295 Tamiami Trail East in Naples.

Voted absentee ballots must be returned by 7 p.m. on Election Day, April 22. Ballots can be dropped off or mailed back to in the official envelope provided. The voter’s signature is also required on the outside of the ballot return envelope.

Voters receiving a mail/absentee ballot but decide to vote in person on Election Day must bring the marked or unmarked mail/absentee ballot to their polling place so it can be cancelled.

For other absentee voting information, visit www.CollierVotes.com under the “Mail Absentee” page.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.