MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While South Florida may still be dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, early voting for the state’s Primary Election got underway Monday in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.
Early voting in Miami-Dade will run through August 16 at 23 locations. Early voting in Monroe will run through August 15.
- Click here to view the schedule, times, and locations in Miami-Dade
In Broward, early voting takes place August 8 through August 16.
- Click here to view schedule, times, and locations in Broward County.
The Primary Election takes place August 18.
If you vote early in Miami-Dade, you can go to any of the 23 sites but on Election Day you must cast your ballot at your assigned precinct.
Wait times for all 23 sites in Miami-Dade will be posted on the Elections Department’s website .
New this year, voters will be able to drop off their “Vote by Mail” ballot in a box outside the voting stations.
“Due to the pandemic, we’ve created new procedures and protocols including the official ballot drop box so voters can drop off their “Vote-by-Mail” ballot without coming in contact with other voters inside the polling place,” Miami-Dade Deputy Supervisor of Elections Suzy Trutie.
Christine James took advantage of drop box.
“I was just too concerned, I have people that I have to go home to that it’s just not worth it,” she said.READ MORE: Pembroke Pines Police: 1 Killed, 1 Injured In Single-Vehicle Crash
Voters are also encouraged to review their customized sample ballot to prepare in advance.
The ballot includes a six person race for Miami-Dade mayor as well as primary races for State Attorney and congressional seats.
Additionally, voters can drop off their Vote-by-Mail ballot at any Early Voting site without having to go inside the polling place. Voters can drive up to the Official Ballot Drop Box, located outside all 23 Early Voting locations, and drop their Vote-by-Mail ballot into the secure ballot box.
Miami-Dade’s Supervisor of Elections Christina White said they will taking precautions in accordance with the Florida Department of Health and CDC guidelines.
“Our poll workers are going to be wearing masks. We’ve given them face shields, they’re going to be wearing gloves, and wiping down all the common touchpoints in the precincts,’ she said.
Hand sanitizer will be available to all voters when arriving and leaving voting locations. Social distancing protocols will also be in effect.
“Like any shopping center, you have to put the sanitizer on your hands, you have to wear a face mask. The people in there are so lovely, they just tell you where to go, it’s no problem and they have sanitizer when you walk out, it’s a piece of cake,” said Phillis Oeters who voted early.
If a voter refused to wear a facial covering, Trutie said they have a plan for that.
“We have a protocol in place where we will bring the equipment outside and the voter will fill out their ballot and do the entire voting process outside of the polling place,” she said.MORE NEWS: Professors Seek Injunction Against UF Policy
Trutie said that will happen on a case by case basis.