Lake Nona voters say polling site clean, short lines during primaries

Poll workers clean voting tablets after each use, allow voters to bring their own pens

LAKE NONA, Fla. – Despite concerns over the virus, Florida's primary election moved ahead Tuesday.

Election workers say they are taking steps to keep people safe with increased cleaning, limiting the number of people inside polling sites and by moving precinct locations from assisted living facilities.

Precinct 431 in Orlando was moved from an assisted living facility to Fire Station 16 on Lake Nona Gateway Road.

"Each time a person voted, a lady went over and sprayed and cleaned the area. It was very good, it was comforting," said Jay Cannon.

Cannon was the seventh voter in line early Tuesday morning to vote at the fire station in Lake Nona. She said the precinct had some troubles when it first opened at 7 a.m.

"They started scrambling in boxes and could not find any Republican ballots and I'm clearly Republican. That was very surprising to me so I decided to come right over to channel six and let you guys know, this was very unusual. I thought they'd be prepared with both ballots," said Cannon.

After about five minutes, Cannon said poll workers were able to locate the box with Republican ballots.

Some voters showed up to the polls with their own items like pens and cleaning supplies, while others wore a mask and gloves to limit contact.

Cannon said she noticed a general lack of voters in the morning.

"I have not seen it this low in attendance this early. Normally we have a line that would wrap around the YMCA or any place we voted," said Cannon.

[RELATED: Ohio postpones Democratic primary, Florida workers a no-show | 5 questions heading into Tuesday’s Democratic primaries]

Some civil rights groups filed a lawsuit, saying the state isn’t doing enough to help those impacted by the coronavirus. The lawsuit claims thousands of college students across the state who were planning to vote at their college precinct need another option - after they were sent home due to the Coronavirus.

Some of the requests made in the complaint include:

-Extending the deadline for vote-by-mail ballot requests

-Contacting all voters whose polling places have changed

-Permitting curbside voting with paper ballots

There’s no indication any of that will happen. Despite other states like Ohio and Georgia canceling primaries Tuesday - some local voters are glad Florida is moving ahead.

“I think people should come out and vote. They should not let this (coronavirus) be a deterrent because it’s pretty important. This should be standard protocol, not just because of the virus. We should be clean and healthy all the time,” said Phillip Laws.

Election workers want to remind voters if they’re feeling ill or showing symptoms of a cold or flu, to stay home. Voters are allowed to delegate someone to get a mail-in ballot on their behalf, it just needs to make it back to the precinct before 7 p.m. Tuesday.

For updates on election outcomes, visit clickorlando.com/results2020.

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