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Election officials blame Coronavirus for low voter turnout in Lee County

Lee County sees drop in turnout due to COVID-19
Posted at 12:41 AM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 09:16:31-04

LEE COUNTY — Turnout was down in a big way at the polls in Lee County Tuesday, and elections officials said concerns over the Coronavirus are the reason why.

“We were expecting at least 50 percent in the primary, presidential primary, but we probably lost 15 percent because of COVID-19, and people not wanting to get out and go vote," said Lee County Election Supervisor Tommy Doyle.

Only about 21,000 people physically made it out to the polls Tuesday in Lee County. The precinct with the largest turnout was Gulf Coast Church of Christ, which still only saw 332 voters. One of them was Jim Leveson, who we spoke with outside the precinct. We asked him if he thought Florida should have postponed the primary because of the Coronavirus.

“There’s pluses and minuses for both arguments I think, but by postponing it, things are probably going to get worse, in my opinion. So it’s maybe going to be harder to hold them later on," said Leveson.

Leveson said he was happy to see that poll workers were taking plenty of precautions. They wore gloves, had hand sanitizer available, and even opened the door for people so voters wouldn't have to touch anything.