by Jennifer J. Edwardsvia twitter3/15/2016 12:58:00 PM
As of 8:45 a.m., voter turnout was at 32.3 percent. So far today, 4,381 people have voted, according to the Collier County Supervisor of Elections. The turnout percentage included about 30,000 mail-in votes and about 26,000 early votes. Early voting was March 5 to March 12.
Dispatch from Karl J Drew Community Center San Carlos Park, precinct 34 by Ryan Mills
Voters are casting ballots at a steady pace at the Karl J. Drew Community Center in San Carlos Park, but the lines aren't long. Voters are in and out in about five minutes or so.
Dwayne Reese, 72, of San Carlos Park, voted for Republican Donald Trump because he's a businessman, not a politician.
"I'm sick of career politicians being in there screwing up our country," said Reese, who wore a University of Florida cap. "It starts at the top. It goes through the president. It goes through Congress. ... Then it goes down to the states."
Reese said he voted twice for Barack Obama, but now believes he should be impeached for allowing criminal aliens into the country and lying about being Muslim. Obama identifies as a Christian.
"I'm not sorry I voted for (Obama)," Reese said. "If he would have followed his promises, like he said, I wouldn't have a problem with a black person being president."
Julianna Griffin, 36, of San Carlos Park, voted for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary because, she said, "the others are evil."
"I think he's the less of the evil," she said of Sanders, who describes himself as a democratic socialist.
Griffin expects Hillary Clinton will ultimately win the Democratic nomination.
"It's doubtful Bernie is going to win," she said, "but you can only hope."
by Jigsha Desai3/15/2016 1:56:43 PM
The scene at Karl J Drew Center San Carlos Park (Photo by Ryan Mills/Staff)
The scene at Germain Arena on Election Day. (Ryan Mills/Staff)
by Jigsha Desai3/15/2016 3:17:20 PM
Dispatch from Precinct 251 by Harriet Heithaus
At the Precinct 251 poll, North Naples residents were a split bunch. “I voted for Trump because he’s not a politician; he’s a businessman” said Robert Schultz, 62.
Tony Haisch, 76, of North Naples voted for Ted Cruz. “I think he’s the best of the bunch. He’s the smartest,” Haisch said.
Meanwhile, 91-year-old Stan Widloski’s vote went to Donald Trump. “There are so many good things about him,” Widloski said.
He wasn’t alone - Aleatha Bazalgette, 82 also voted for Trump. “He doesn’t do anything because it’s politically correct. I am a born-again Christian so I would like to see Cruz be Vice President, but I don’t think Cruz has a chance at the presidential race. Together, they could win,” she said.
The North Naples crowd also weighed in on fire and ambulance consolidation. “I don’t think it should be under a medical director. The fire departments would be reporting to someone who doesn’t understand their work. There wouldn’t be respect the director needs,” said Atom McCree, 32, North Naples, a candidate for 3rd District commissioner.
Haisch put it simply: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
by Jigsha Desai3/15/2016 3:20:37 PM
As of 11:15 a.m., voter turnout was at 36.9 percent. So far today, 13.176 people have voted, according to the Collier County Supervisor of Elections. The turnout percentage included about 30,000 mail-in votes and about 26,000 early votes. Early voting was March 5 to March 12.
Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner said he expects heavy and historic voting Tuesday as thousands head to the polls for the first primary of the year. At stake is the presidential preference races for Republican and Democratic candidates. Supervisors of elections around the state have already counted 1.2 million absentee ballots and $869,000 early voting ballots. More from Political Fix Florida
by Jigsha Desai3/15/2016 3:32:15 PM
Primary Election Day Voters Speak - North Naples Regional Park
Dispatch from Germain Arena in Estero from Ryan Mills
MGay Hendricks, 65, of Estero called her vote for Donald Trump on Tuesday one of the hardest of her life. She liked Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, but he's done so poorly in previous primary elections that, she said, "he took himself out."
"My only option then was to vote for Donald Trump," she said, "so someone with a whole lot of clout in the Republican Party can defeat, I believe, Hillary Clinton."
Gary Medley, 60, cast his ballot for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who he called the most experienced and qualified candidate in the race. Medley is originally from Ohio, but he said that didn't sway his vote.
Medley is hoping Kasich can win Ohio tonight, and continue on to an open convention in Cleveland where he can win over delegates. If Trump ultimately prevails, Medley said Kasich would be a strong VP pick.
"It's about the people. The people are speaking," he said. "Trump has done something to resonate with the masses that he's inspired people to go out and vote for him. Maybe there's a lesson for us."
by Jigsha Desai3/15/2016 3:39:46 PM
Out at the polls for @ndn . Notes: A lot of folks new to Florida didn't realize we have closed primaries. #NDNElection