Ballot drop boxes take center stage in Florida midterms following comment by Sen. Marco Rubio

Rubio claims drop boxes can be 'blown up'
Palm Beach County voting drop box
Posted at 6:04 PM, Oct 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-19 18:06:27-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — U.S. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio made headlines Tuesday during his debate with his Democratic challenger Val Demings when he said election drop boxes could be "blown up."

He made the claims at a debate after Demings remarked on the number of drop boxes reduced after the 2020 election.

A day after the debate, she was stumping in Delray Beach.

"I thought that was pretty bizarre. He said that you could put explosives in drop boxes," she told WPTV. "Unfortunately you could put explosives just about any place, and so I just thought that was a little bizarre, especially being a former law enforcement officer. We need to make sure that people have the opportunity to vote."

U.S. Rep. Val Demings campaigns in Delray Beach, Oct. 19, 2022
U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., campaigns in Delray Beach on Oct. 19, 2022.

RELATED: WPTV Decision 2022 voter information guide

In Palm Beach County, there are four permanently-affixed boxes that voters can utilize during early voting hours.

There are 21 of them that are portable at early voting sites only during early voting hours. At the end of the day, Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link said the boxes get taken to the tabulation center.

"They always will have at least one person, almost always two people there attending them, so there is never a chance someone is getting in putting something in that isn't a ballot," she said. "They've always got somebody there."

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link, Oct. 19, 2022
Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link maintains that drop boxes are a secure way to cast your ballot.

Sartory Link said the boxes are called secured ballot intake stations.

"I think the only thing we can say is they are always attended, and so we always have people watching them," she said.

Sartory Link reiterated the steps her office is taking to make sure voting is secure.

"I think it is a very safe way to vote because they are attended," she said. "We pick those ballots up regularly throughout the day and certainly at the end of the day, so nothing is left there overnight and when we're not there, they are locked and you can't get anything in them."

WPTV DMA Congressional District Map