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Safety measures in place for early voting in Lee County

Posted at 8:28 PM, Aug 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 20:28:49-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Early voting for the state's primary election begins tomorrow for Lee and Collier Counties.

But because of the pandemic, early voters will see some changes when they head out to the polls.

"With the COVID-19, you can expect we're going to be following all the CDC recommendations," said Lee County Supervisor of Elections, Tommy Doyle.

Voters are expected to wear face masks inside the polling locations, those who don't have a face mask will be given one.

Additional safety measures include extra sanitization and plexiglass barriers.

Poll workers are also taking safety precautions.

"All our polling workers will be wearing a mask or face shield," said Doyle.

Earlier this week, the Lee County Elections Office reported a shortage of poll workers, but Doyle says they have seen their number of volunteers increase.

"People are signing up, and now we are fully manned, so we're putting them on as alternates," said Doyle.

Lee County will have ten early voting poll locations, all fully staffed, and Doyle says he doesn't anticipate long wait times.

For those who prefer to vote-by-mail — it's not too late to request your ballot.

"You can drop off your vote-by-mail [ballot] at early voting locations, and we're going to set up drop off points away from the polling locations. Basically, it'll be a drive-thru drop off," said Doyle.

Doyle says this primary election has resulted in a historic number of vote-by-mail ballot requests.

"180,000 voters have requested vote-by-mail," said Doyle.

So far, Doyle says roughly 80,000 have been returned.

"I expect we're going to have close to a 120,000 returned, so we're going to have a big busy week next week," said Doyle.

The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot is Saturday before 5 p.m.

Early voting runs from August 8 to August 15.

For polling locations in Lee County, click here.

For polling locations in Collier County, click here.