Escambia County election official ‘strongly encouraging’ voters wear masks to vote

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Florida voters will vote in Tuesday’s Florida Primary with extra precautions taken to ensure they stay safe from COVID-19.

Escambia County Supervisor of Elections David Stafford told WKRG News 5 his office has put together a plan to keep voters and poll workers safe.

“All of your poll workers will be wearing face masks,” Stafford said. “We’re strongly encouraging voters to do the same thing.”

For the first time, voters are allowed to bring their own blue or black ink pen to fill in their ballot. Voters will be given a disposable stylus to sign their name at check-in.

Hand sanitizer will also be available.

“It’s not the most ideal environment to really do anything — including conducting an election,” Stafford said. “But, we’ve had time to plan since the presidential primary.”

Stafford reminds voters to check their voting status before heading to the polls Tuesday to avoid any unnecessary headaches if problems occur. Stafford said the lines shouldn’t get too long for the primary election, but he said it’s important for everyone to social distance while waiting to vote.

Stafford said if voting in person makes you nervous, consider voting by mail or during early voting when polling places aren’t as crowded.

Nearly 50,000 Escambia County residents have already requested to vote by mail for the general election in November, Stafford said. He emphasizes there are three ways to vote — plenty of options for those worried about the virus.

“When you space out the overall number of people that are going to vote, that’s going to reduce the number of people who are going to show up in one place,” Stafford said.

Voting opens tomorrow at 7 a.m. and ends at 7 p.m. For more information, click here.

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