By Ty Russell

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DORAL (CBSMiami) — Hurricane Michael has altered previous election plans in the Florida panhandle. But officials are working around the impacts to preserve the integrity of the election.

In Bay County, buildings have been leveled, power outages are still widespread, and the need for food and water continues to grow.

“You just take it the way it is, man,” Mexico Beach Resident David Johnson said to CNN. “We’re still alive and house don’t mean anything, we’ll build it back or bulldoze it, whatever.”

Johnson is among the 121,000 registered voters in the county, which includes Panama City.

It’s where many polling places have been damaged weeks before the midterm election. Neighboring counties are dealing with similar impacts following Hurricane Michael.

Last week, Governor Rick Scott signed an executive order to ease restrictions on mail-in ballots in eight counties and the order allows elections supervisors to extend early voting at “mega voting” sites.

The panhandle is an area where most voters support Republican candidates and some people don’t know where to vote on Election Day.

One elections website warns voters their polling place has certainly changed because of the hurricane.

The governor is running to unseat Senator Bill Nelson. A new CNN poll shows Nelson with a slight edge.

That same poll shows Gubernatorial Democratic Candidate Andrew Gillum leading Republican hopeful Ron DeSantis.

The poll was conducted before Michael impacted parts of the Sunshine State. It’s unclear what impacts, if any, the storm will have on how voters will cast a ballot as they work to rebuild homes and businesses.

 

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