COLLIER COUNTY — Supervisor of Elections offices were busy Monday preparing for an election like no other.
In Collier County, they’re expecting a record-breaking turnout, even as they have to take precautions for COVID-19.
“We broke our early voting record this year by almost 2,000, and voting by mail, we’ve received over 100,000 vote by mail ballots back," said Supervisor of Elections spokeswoman Trish Robertson.
Staff were busy counting more of those ballots Monday, while others were at the elections office gathering supplies to take back to their precincts.
“I’m hoping that we have a quick closure and I can get back home to my husband, because it’s a long day," said Natalia Armstrong, a precinct clerk.
Armstrong said that day is going to be made even longer by all the precautions staff are taking this year.
“We all wore our masks. Everyone I work with understands that’s a requirement. We had a few voters that didn’t want to cooperate... but we got through it," said Armstrong.
But Armstrong said the pandemic had already caused her some problems.
“I actually had one person who had to drop out because her spouse was exposed," said Armstrong.
But with the vast majority voting early or by mail this year, it’s going to change how the results roll in. Robertson said mail-in results are all announced at 7:30 p.m. on election night. So if the vote isn’t close, we’ll know the winner in Florida early in the night.
“We don’t care who wins as long as they win big, because the only way that we truly will not know who the winner is is if we have to do a recount," said Robertson.
Robertsion said it's important the public knows that, if you still have a mail-in ballot, you should not drop it in your mailbox because it won’t get there on time. Drop it in the drop box at the Supervisor of Elections office, because it has to physically be there before 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night.