By Ted Scouten


MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Despite coronavirus concerns, polls opened across the state Tuesday morning for Florida’s Presidential Primary.

Election officials said their crews have worked around the clock to ensure the safety of voters and employees.

Voting locations are stocked with hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.

More than 17-thousand people have cast ballots already in Miami-Dade. In Broward, election officials are not expecting huge numbers.

Broward Supervisor of Elections Peter Antonacci says turn out has been “Pretty low. It looks like we will be, including early voting, about 20%.”

Tuesday’s roll out of Broward’s 422 voting locations and 577 precincts went relatively smoothly, according to officials.

The Supervisor of Elections tells CBS4 News there were a couple hiccups with two locations that house 4 precincts.

“Two were relocation issues where we had problems standing up the machines and connecting the electronics to make everything work right. The other was an issue that’s not uncommon in the election business.  A private facility where people just did not show up to let us in,” said Antonacci.

There was also a problem at a polling place in Pembroke Pines where voters said democratic ballots were not available.

“We built redundancy in our systems so if there are ballot shortages, there is an express vote system to give people the opportunity to vote,” explained Antonacci.

There were more than a dozen polling sites moved in Broward County, mostly because they were located at senior centers where visitation is now prohibited. Eight sites were moved in Miami-Dade.

Click here to see a list of those new polling sites.

“We’re all taking the necessary precautions from the elections perspective. We are going to have hand sanitizers at all of our precincts. We’re going to be asking all of our voters to clean their hands upon checking in so that they can maintain cleanliness of the polls,” said Miami-Dade Elections Supervisor Christina White.

Sunday, Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee said more than 600,000 participated in early voting and over 1 million people voted by mail.  She added “Floridians can safely and securely go to the polls.”

The polling locations will be open until 7 p.m.

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Ted Scouten

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