The Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Office is preparing early voting sites to quell any voter fear about coronavirus.

Despite no local diagnoses of coronavirus, Palm Beach County’s elections office is taking precautions to quell any fears ahead of Saturday’s start to early voting.


The office will spend "10s of thousands" of dollars on disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, tissues and gloves, which will be made available to voters and poll workers at the 16 early voting sites through March 15 and the 454 polling locations open on March 17, elections chief Wendy Sartory Link said Thursday.


>>Coronavirus: What Palm Beach County residents need to know


Poll workers also will be charged with "continually wiping down" surfaces that people may touch, including privacy booths, voting equipment and tables.


If a voter still isn’t comfortable casting their ballot in person, the deadline to ask the elections office to send a ballot by mail is 5 p.m. Saturday.


The main headquarters at 240 S. Military Trail will be open Saturday to accept any in-person vote-by-mail requests. Voters also can request ballots online or by phone.


A voter can technically request a vote-by-mail ballot in person at the main headquarters, fill it out and then submit it, Link said.


But the West Palm Beach office is not an early voting location this year — Link said she wasn’t sure renovations would be completed in time, so the Summit Boulevard county library is its replacement — so there will be no privacy booths available and security cameras will be on.


>>Coronavirus: Follow our LIVE updates


"If they would like to step outside and fill it out, we’d be happy to take it back from them," Link said. The voter’s ballot will be tracked as one cast by mail.


A voter can still pick up a vote-by-mail ballot in person if they miss the Saturday deadline to request a ballot by mail. The voter can also designate someone, authorized through a form on the county elections website, to pick up the ballot for them.


"If they’re not feeling well and they’re feeling sick, please stay at home," Link advised.


Absentee ballots must be submitted to the elections office by 7 p.m. on March 17.



Early voting locations, which can be found at pbcelections.org, are available to any voter and are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


The office is confirming the availability of its cache of just under 4,000 poll workers. The elections office typically trains extra workers in case some call out sick, but Link plans to train a few hundred workers because of the virus.


>>GET CORONAVIRUS INFO by email: Sign up for Gannett’s coronavirus newsletter


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also advises similar practices for polling locations: frequently wash your hands, wipe down any surface that is touched and stay home if you’re feeling sick.


"Never a dull moment in the elections world," Link said.


hmorse@pbpost.com


@mannahhorse


Loading…