The Florida presidential preference primary is here. So is a global pandemic.After weeks of early and mail voting, polls around the state open at 7 a.m. Tuesday. Hundreds of thousands of Republicans and Democrats are expected to show up and cast their ballots in their parties’ respective primaries — amid a coronavirus outbreak.
President Donald Trump is on the ballot, with only nominal opposition from Joe Walsh, Bill Weld and Roque “Rocky” de la Fuente. There are many Democrats on the ballot, but only Joe Biden, Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders remain in the running for the party’s nomination.
Concerns about the spread of the disease caused by novel coronavirus infection, COVID-19, have complicated primary day by forcing election supervisors to move dozens of precincts at senior centers and stock their polling places with sanitation supplies. But election officials say they’re ready to welcome voters and adhere to guidelines by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to avoid crowds of 50 or more people.
The Florida primary is “closed,” meaning only to members of the presidential candidates’ respective political parties can participate.
Voters have until 7 p.m. to cast their ballots, and will be allowed to vote as long as they are in line by the time polls close. But election officials say they do not expect lines Tuesday given that nearly 2 million voters have already cast ballots at early voting centers or by mail.
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