RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — Tropical Storm Nicole will not disrupt the election process or prevent any votes from being counted, Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link said Tuesday.
"It's such a relief," Sartory Link said.
Palm Beach County initially planned to shut down the Supervisor of Elections office Wednesday, potentially impacting whether some votes would count.
"The county had initially made the decision — for the safety of residents and citizens — to close all county buildings," she said.
A closure would have prevented staff from carrying out key post-election tasks, one of which includes fixing or "curing" any mail-in ballots with signature issues or other flaws.
When a mail-in ballot has an issue, which usually is an honest mistake, it is flagged, and the voter has until Thursday to sign an affidavit to fix it.
The two days give election officials ample time to contact voters and inform them of the mistake. It also gives voters ample time to turn in the signed affidavit.
Without that critical part of the counting process, many mail-in votes that should count wouldn't have. It was a concern Sartory Link brought to Palm Beach County officials.
"They went back, had a lot of internal meetings and determined that they would work with us," Sartory Link said of county officials.
The Supervisor of Elections office will now stay open through Thursday.
"So that we would be able to answer voters calls, questions, answer their emails if they have questions," Sartory Link said.
Sartory Link does urge voters who need assistance or are curing their ballots to do so virtually to avoid going out into the storm. Voters can send a picture of their signed affidavit to the Supervisor of Elections office, which will contact anyone if there is an issue.
Nicole's lack of disruption is a comforting thought for passionate voters like Jim Eisenberg.
"I was worried that it was going to hit on Election Day and I'd be out here, you know, in a Category 1 hurricane," Eisenberg said.
Eisenberg voted early Tuesday and was out encouraging other voters at the polls until they closed.
"I always love getting a sticker that says 'I voted,'" Eisenberg said. "That is what it's all about."
To learn more about fixing a mail-in ballot, click here.