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As concerns grow about coronavirus, Supervisors of Elections say vote-by-mail is always an option

Updated: Mar. 3, 2020 at 10:51 PM EST
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - This upcoming Saturday is the deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot in both Sarasota and Manatee counties.

However, in order to vote-by-mail for the Presidential Preference Primary, you must call or submit a request online.

“One of the ways is to vote-by-mail and we’ll just send a ballot to a voter for any election or through two general election cycles, which could be through the end of 2022,″ says Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner. "So if a voter wants makes a request for this March’s Presidential Preference Primary for us to mail a ballot to that voter, they need to do so, make that request by Saturday, March 7th at 5pm.”

Over the weekend, Governor Ron DeSantis confirmed there were two cases of the coronavirus in Florida. Tuesday, a third person has tested presumptively positive.

Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Michael Bennett wants to reassure voters that they have options when voting.

“If you’re one of those people that’s really bothered by the crowds and bothered by the potential of getting it, we would encourage you to vote by mail. If they call our office between today and Friday afternoon, we can get a vote by mail application out to them," he said.

If you’re a person who likes to go to a polling site to vote, there will be a way to clean your hands when you walk in.

“If they’re concerned at all, we’re going to have hands hand sanitizers at the voting sites so people can take care of that. But if they’re really concerned about it I would suggest to vote-by-mail,” says Bennett.

To request a ballot by mail in Sarasota County, voters may call (941) 861-8618 or submit an online request by clicking here.

To request a ballot by mail in Manatee County, voters may call (941) 741-3823 or submit an online request by clicking here.

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