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Palm Beach County voters show strong preference for mail-in ballots

Elections supervisor cites pandemic as reason for high percentage of vote-by-mail
Woman drops ballot in dropbox for Palm Beach County municipal elections, March 9, 2021
Posted at 6:42 PM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 18:42:55-05

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — Voters in municipal elections across Palm Beach County once again showed a strong preference for mail-in ballots.

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link said Tuesday that a vast majority of voters opted to do so by mail.

By late Tuesday afternoon, more than 70% of the votes cast were by mail-in ballots.

Vote-by-mail was widely popular in the presidential election in November, and some election officials had predicted its popularity would continue.

"We are going to see an increase in vote-by-mail, but I don't know that it'll be this strong going forward," Sartory Link said. "I think we still are dealing -- we still have a pandemic, and so people, I think, are still taking advantage of the vote-by-mail because of that."

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Those who did vote in person said polling places were not crowded and overall were safe.

"There [weren't] that many people, you know, in there, so everybody was distanced," Patricia Hunt, who voted at the Wells Recreation Center in Riviera Beach, told WPTV.

Many who did vote acknowledged they voted because they consider local elections important.

'It is really safe,' Palm Beach County elections supervisor says of vote-by-mail system

"This (is) where your dollars get allocated, by you exercising your right to vote," Cindy March, who lives in Riviera Beach, said.

Although voter turnout was light, there were "pockets of big turnout" at voting locations like Phil Foster Park, Juno Beach Town Hall and Ocean Ridge Town Hall, Sartory Link said.