Campaign Chair Mike Lyster on Election Campaign

Mike Lyster
Chairman Campaign Committee

As we move toward reopening our office the Campaign Activities committee has been solidifying our volunteer database and confirming what activities those volunteers prefer to perform.
The good news is that we have Trump signs and bumper stickers at the office. We’ve been assured that we’ll get additional inventory as soon as they can get it to SW Florida. Thanks to the Trump campaign team for this effort.

The party is not taking positions in the Primary Election but we encourage each of you to support the candidate of your choice with your time, talent and treasurer to the extent you are able. We suggest you utilize the primary election to practice “working your precinct” in preparation for our major push to “Get Out The Vote” (GOTV) activities in the general election.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t address the recent attention being paid to “Vote by Mail” balloting.

I remember vividly our then party chairman, Mike Carr, standing up at a 2002 CCREC meeting and waving his then “Absentee Ballot” and stating, “Friends, this is money in the bank”. We’ve been promoting Vote By Mail ever since. I’ve worked both for and with our Collier County Supervisor of Elections for 18 years and counting.

During that period I’ve been a Polling Place Clerk, call center staffer, assisted the training officer in the “hands on” effort of training poll workers, assisted in distributing materials to precinct Clerks the day before election day along with performing what I believed to be my “duty to the party” of attending canvassing board meetings and most recently organizing observers for the recounts we experienced in 2018. Throughout all of this, in each election, there are Mail-In ballots that have issues with signatures, powers of attorney (not allowed), people voting who no longer reside in the county, and even some voting after the date on their death certificate.

Being totally forthright these are always a very small number and are dealt with legally by the canvassing board. I would remind you that George W. Bush won Florida, and there-with the presidency by 537 votes. That’s 1 vote over 8/county. Our observation of canvassing board activities has never been more important. It’s somewhat tedious and boring but the opposition is ALWAYS there in numbers. The last 2 elections they continually criticize the canvassing board for rejecting ballots per Florida statute. We have a duty to uphold our Florida statutes and U.S. Constitution. Personally, I believe in Mail-In ballots as an OPTION of convenience and sometimes necessity.

I would never want to take away election day voting as I remember well the 2 full vans from The Carlyle that visited our polling place in 2002 and 2004. It was a social event for those senior citizens.

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