My election story starts 8 years ago during the 2012 election - the last time I voted in-person. I lived on Sanibel at the time and voted at a local church. Kelly and I both had to work that day, so we met there right before they 'closed' the line. After 2008, and everything they were saying in the media, we knew the lines would take some time. We were prepared with folding chairs and a cooler with snacks and more. The good news? We had 4 hours of uninterrupted “girl time.” It was great. At one point, Judie Zimomra, City Manager of Sanibel, found out I was in line and sent some pizza back. She is awesome!

We finally made it through and voted and were home by 11:30 p.m. or so. The bad news? While we were in line, they had already announced the unofficial winners of the local elections and by the time we got home, the presidential winner had been announced. I felt as though my vote didn’t count, so now I vote by mail and make sure it is received early.  

Today’s newsletter is all about the vote and includes many resources. I am not going to sway you on positions or to vote for specific candidates, but I am going to ask you to please vote! 
From the Lee County Supervisor of Elections (239-533-8683) and Collier County Supervisor of Elections (239-252-8683) websites you can request a vote-by-mail ballot, register to vote, confirm you are already registered in Florida, or update your voter registration. Both Supervisor of Election offices are open M-F 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot is  5:00 p.m., Saturday, October 24.

To see an Official Sample Ballot Guide, General Election, November 3, 2020, click here.
Our Member Advocacy Committee met yesterday and shared the Florida TaxWatch Voter Guide that provides significant detail and analysis on each Amendment on the November ballot. Before you click the link and review the document, we want to remind you that with the exception of Amendment 2, our Chamber has not taken a position on Amendments.
Here are links to each Amendment on the November ballot from Ballotpedia, whose content includes neutral, accurate, and verifiable information on government officials and the offices they hold, political issues and public policy, elections, candidates, and the influencers of politics.

Florida Amendment 1, Citizen Requirement for Voting Initiative
Florida Amendment 2, $15 Minimum Wage Initiative
Florida Amendment 3, Top-Two Open Primaries for State Offices Initiative
Florida Amendment 4, Require Constitutional Amendments to be Passed Twice Initiative
Florida Amendment 5, Extend "Save Our Homes" Portability Period Amendment
Florida Amendment 6, Homestead Property Tax Discount for Spouses of Deceased Veterans Amendment
From the Florida Chamber:

The Florida Chamber has created an Election Guide that you might find of interest. I was hesitant to share this at first, as our Chamber does not endorse candidates, nor has our Chamber Board approved a position statement on any Amendment except for Amendment 2 (minimum wage). However, I opted to share the Florida Chamber Guide, as it includes a thorough list of the upcoming races and other important information for the election. 
The Florida Chamber is rolling out a 3-part webinar series on Amendment 2. Throughout the series, Florida Chamber CEO Mark Wilson will be joined Florida Chamber Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish, VP of Political Operations Nick Catroppo, and other special guests to discuss how a $15 per hour minimum wage will impact Florida’s economy, and the implications of it being a Constitutional Amendment, mandating the wage in the State Constitution.
October 5: 2:00-3:00 p.m.  
Part 1: Jobs, Economy & Education 
Special Guests Rep. Tommy Gregory & Glenda Hood, Chair, Florida Chamber Small Business Council  
October 14: 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. 
Part 2: Cost of Living for Seniors and Families 
October 30: 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 
Part 3: Equality of Opportunity 

Click here to register for the Florida Chamber series on Amendment 2.
We were fortunate enough to have Andrew Wiggins, Senior Director, Political Affairs & Coalitions Advocacy, Florida Chamber of Commerce with us on Wednesday to review the Ballot Amendments. He also shared information from the Florida Primary, and the effect that mail-in and early voting had on the Primary election. It was astonishing to hear that 75% of the votes were received before the first vote was cast on Election Day. We might expect the same for the November election, with many people being careful with COVID. No matter your path, take the time and get your voice heard!
Have a great weekend. Stay safe!