By Jennifer Edwards
Collier County Supervisor of Elections
Our office would like to extend our thanks to the 150,346 voters in Collier County who participated in the general election — the most ever in our county.
We had an impressive voter turnout of 83.27%, which was the highest rate in Florida. Turnout was nearly equal across the three methods of voting. Of the total ballots cast, nearly 49,000 were absentee/mail ballots; over 52,000 were cast in early voting; and over 49,000 were cast on Election Day.
Clearly, voters in Collier County are dedicated to exercising their right to choose.
Our office also employed a large number of dedicated volunteers who were instrumental to the election process. Over 850 election workers staffed our precincts, early voting sites, call centers and more. This includes 39 "Adopt-a-Precinct" non-profit groups.
Our workers attend hours of training to prepare for their positions, work long days, and receive only small stipends in return. However, they do have our sincere gratitude for their hard work.
Additionally, 66 locations opened their doors to be polling sites during early voting and on Election Day.
These organizations, such as libraries, community centers, churches, and more, often suspend their normal operations for more than just Election Day so voting can take place. Thank you to each person at these facilities who helped to make it happen.
As our office completes a variety of post-election tasks, we will continue to look for ways to improve the voting experience within the parameters of state law. The implementation of any election may never be quite perfect, but it is certainly our goal to run error-free elections and to ensure the integrity of the electoral process.
We welcome any input from the community.
We would also like to remind Collier County citizens that it is never too early to register to vote. If you did not register to participate in this election year, we encourage you to go to www.CollierVotes.com and access a voter registration application, or call us at 239-252-8450 to learn where you can pick up a hard copy. Complete and return the application form to the Elections office. The form can also be used for voter registration changes.
Our office will continue to stay busy in the coming year, particularly if we need to adjust to any changes in state law. The primary activities, of course, will continue to be voter education and outreach and the integrity of the voter roll. Contact us if you would like a representative from our office to speak to your organization.
Thank you again to all the voters, election workers, and everyone around the county who was involved in the 2012 Election cycle. We applaud your efforts, and look forward to seeing you next time!
For more information, visit www.CollierVotes.com or call our office, 239-252-8450.