Elections office offers help to voters concerned about virus

OKEECHOBEE — Early voting for the Presidential Preference Primary started this week and Okeechobee County Supervisor of Elections Diane Hagan is doing all she can to protect voters from germs as they cast their ballots.

Ms. Hagan said voters who have health concerns and do not want to go out in public can send a designee to pick up an absentee ballot for them. The designee must have a written statement signed by the voter giving the voter’s name, date of birth and address and stating the name of the person designated to pick up the ballot. The same designee must also bring the ballot back.

A family member can be the designee for an unlimited number of other members of the same immediate family including their spouse, parents, step-parents, children, step-children and siblings. A legal guardian can also be the designee. Those who are not immediate family members may serve as the designee for no more than two individuals. For example, explained Ms. Hagan, you could be the designee for two neighbors.

Ms. Hagan said the election workers will periodically disinfect the voting booths with disinfectant wipes. “If someone who comes in sneezes or coughs, as soon as that voter leaves, they will wipe everything that person has touched with disinfectant,” she added.

While the primary is not expected to attract large crowds, those concerned about interacting with the public can also take advantage of early voting, which continues through Saturday, at the Historic Okeechobee County Courthouse from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. She said the biggest crowd they’ve had so far for early voting was three people in line at one time.

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