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Palm Beach County prepares for surge in requests to vote by mail

300,000 voters have already signed up
Posted at 7:55 PM, May 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-09 20:05:18-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — With the Florida Primary in August and the uncertainty of the coronavirus, the Palm Beach County Elections Office is pushing for changes to the way you vote.

WPTV talked to the supervisor of elections about what's being done to make voters feel safe.

MORE: Decision 2020 | Palm Beach County wants voters to consider voting by mail

“We did order one million extra envelopes because we were worried after seeing in March and how crazy that was,” said Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link.

On Primary Day in March, way past the deadline, people started requesting mail-in ballots because they were fearful about waiting in polling lines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, the supervisor is leading a push for more people to sign up for mail-in ballots. Nearly 300,000 voters have already signed up.

Fears over the virus returning this fall have led the supervisor to ask the governor to expand early voting from two to three weeks and allow several voting precincts to share the same polling location.

“We had 227 of our locations were private polling locations, and we are still in the process of hearing from all of them, as to whether or not they are going to allow us to come back, but at this point we’ve had a lot tell us no,” said Sartory Link.

The supervisor said that could help minimize the shortage of poll workers that occurred in March when too many were either sick or afraid to get sick.

It’s a concern voters are also thinking about in November.

“If the situation is still the same with the virus, I think it would be best to have mail-in voting,” said registered voter Lawrence Chase.

Visit the Palm Beach County Elections website to request a ballot to vote by mail.