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First Coast polling precincts ready for August primary

Duval County's Supervisor of Elections, Mike Hogan, says his office, and the state, have been preparing for months buying sanitizing supplies to keep the polls open.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Throngs of voters pounded the doors at the only polling station in Louisville, Ky., demanding to be allowed to vote.

Without enough poll workers or resources to keep stations sanitized because of Covid-19, the state shut down many polling stations. 

Florida’s primary is August 18 and as coronavirus threatens to cut resources, could the First Coast see crowds out the door like in Kentucky? Jacksonville Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan and Clay County’s supervisor Chris Chambless both say that’s not something their voters have to worry about.

“We reached out to all of our poll workers and asked this question," Hogan said, "'Are you going to be able to be with us in August and November?'”

The response he said, "was more than we would need.”

Duval County has 199 polling locations. Clay County has 47. Both Hogan and Chambliss say there are no plans to consolidate their respective precincts because of the virus. 

Chambless says most county precincts are fully staffed for August, however, “We always could use more,” he said.

With rising concerns about health and safety, Hogan says the county, and the state, have been preparing sanitation supplies for months.

“This time around product is available and we’re buying early,” Hogan said.

Mail-in ballots are also steadily pouring in. Though Chambless notes that could be because of more registered voters.

“When people call up they don’t say ‘hey I’m worried about Covid-19 I want to get a vote by mail ballot,'” said Chambless.

If you do want to vote by mail Hogan says this is most important:

“Mail ballots must be in our office by 7 p.m. on election day – It’s not the postmark,” Chambless said.

And as things are ever-changing during this pandemic Chambless suggests all counties should start thinking of backup plans for August and November.

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