Election 2008: Slow and steady is the pace on Marco

Marco Island sees quiet trickle of voters after busy early voting period

Campaign supporters hand out literature at the Marco Presbyterian Church, Precinct 190, on Tuesday afternoon. Many people stumping outside the polls said a lot of voters appeared to have made up their minds well before walking in to vote, but that didn't deter supporters from turning out in droves to make one last entreaty to voters.

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Campaign supporters hand out literature at the Marco Presbyterian Church, Precinct 190, on Tuesday afternoon. Many people stumping outside the polls said a lot of voters appeared to have made up their minds well before walking in to vote, but that didn't deter supporters from turning out in droves to make one last entreaty to voters.

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The flow of Marco voters to polls was a slow trickle Tuesday afternoon after heavy early voting.

The flow of Marco voters to polls was a slow trickle Tuesday afternoon after heavy early voting. Watch »

After heavy early voting on Marco Island, the flow of voters to polls is a slow trickle this afternoon. Still, poll workers say the flow has been steady, and expect turnout to be high, reaffirming predictions by the Collier County Supervisor of Elections office.

Early voting on Marco saw more than 4,700 people flow through polls at the Marco Island branch of the Collier County Public Library. Though some of those numbers could be voters from elsewhere in Collier County, it bodes well for those expecting high turnout from the island's 12,300 registered voters.

Bob Thomas is working the polls at Marco Lutheran Church for Precinct 194, his second election cycle as a poll worker. He said turnout has been impressive in his estimation.

"It's twice what we had in the last election cycle, and I think that's because of the local issues," he said.

Thomas said he believes the heated City Council race for four seats is a driving force in motivating people to vote, in spite of a presidential primary that most pundits were expecting to beef up voter turnout.

People are pretty quiet as they head for the booths, though, he said. He hasn't overheard much talk from voters.

Adele Lippert said that while she was interested in casting her ballot for the Presidential Preference Primary, those local issues were what guided her vote.

"The sewer thing to me was a big thing," she said.

Others have been mum on their votes, though, with many voters bashfully dodging exit poll questions on their way out.

Meanwhile, the candidates have been at it since polls opened at 7 a.m., hopping from one precinct to another to drop off bottled water for supporters or chat with voters on their way into their precincts.

Candidate Wayne Waldack said he had gotten a mixture of thumbs ups and thumbs downs from voters heading to the polls, but was happy just to see the participation by the community.

"It doesn't matter to me who they vote for as long as they vote," he said.

Once the polls close, Waldack and fellow candidates will remove to their perspective camps to await the results.

Waldack and fellow pro-sewer candidates Jerry Gibson, Frank Recker and Bill Trotter will be at Cafe de Marco in Olde Marco with a large crowd, while the anti-sewer candidates, Joe Batte, Andrew Guidry, Roger Hall and Butch Neylon will be gathered together at Konrad's Seafood and Grille Room with a smaller private party of about 100 people.

Until then, said Batte, he and fellow candidates will simply be making the rounds. The trucks that have been trolling the island for the last two weeks with campaign signs promoting he and Guidry, Hall and Neylon might even be stationed at the northern side of the Jolley Bridge for one last time, he said.

"We will continue to be at every district," he said.

Penny Blais is one of the supporters on the receiving end of that bottled water from Batte. The St. Petersburg resident was on the island to support Neylon. She voted at home before heading south, she said.

"We're helping because they're our dear friends," she said of the Neylons. "We've been in on [Marco politics] since the beginning."

Bob Newman, who stood outside Marco Presbyterian Church, the polling place for Precinct 190, said the pace of the day was tame compared to early voting. He stood at the road with signs for the four candidates pushing for completion of the island's sewering program.

"I had been at the library last week and it was much busier," he said. "This is a little more subdued."

Check back at marconews.com for updates on the election.

© 2008 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 1

rlegan writes:

Victory party at Cafe de Marco in Olde Marco

Anti-Sewer zealots go down the tubes!

93 of 94 precincts counted...

MARCO ISLAND CITY COUNCIL
(Vote for ) 4
Joe Batte . . . . . . . . . . 3,606 10.61 1,293 622 1,691 0
Gerard "Jerry" Gibson . . . . . . 5,055 14.87 1,705 834 2,516 0
Andrew Guidry . . . . . . . . . 3,215 9.46 1,142 564 1,509 0
Roger Hall . . . . . . . . . . 3,316 9.75 1,167 595 1,554 0
Francis "Butch" Neylon . . . . . . 3,305 9.72 1,212 572 1,521 0
Frank Recker . . . . . . . . . 5,341 15.71 1,817 892 2,632 0
Bill Trotter . . . . . . . . . 5,164 15.19 1,711 840 2,613 0
Wayne Waldack . . . . . . . . . 4,998 14.70 1,680 827 2,491 0
Total . . . . . . . . . 34,000 11,727 5,746 16,527 0

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