Every registered Republican voter on Marco Island can probably agree on one thing during this contentious election year, early voting is the ticket. In the first full week since early voting was offered at the Marco Island Library on Jan. 16, 730 registered Republicans cast their vote for one of the Republican presidential primary contenders.
Board of Elections Poll Clerk Palma Klein says she’s seen a steady stream of voters.
“We’re getting a well-rounded assortment of people. We also get a lot of people from Naples. They’re telling us that they come down to Marco for lunch or they’re here to visit. A lot of them are here to avoid the crowds too,” Klein commented.
Klein, who worked the early voting location on Marco Island for the 2008 Republican presidential primary, says it’s too early to tell if interest in this election is as high as it was then. In 2008, over 2700 cast ballots in the Republican primary contest at the early voting location in Marco Island.
Klein believes early voting enables greater numbers of our most vulnerable population, the frail elderly, to participate in the voting process.
“They can do it at their pace. I think that’s very important to a lot of people. They don’t have to come out, say on Tuesday, when they might not feel good. Today they feel fine, so they’re going to come today.”
Peter Glytsta, a resident of Hammock Bay in Naples, just outside of Marco Island, was thrilled to hear he could return to the Library with his wife to cast his vote early in a primary election he views as significant.
“We have to wake up and look what’s happening in our country. I’m a Vietnam Veteran. Believe me, we’re not going the right way.”
Early voting at the Marco Island Library at 210 S. Heathwood Drive concludes on Saturday. Hours are from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
The Republican Presidential Primary Election will be held on Tuesday.