COVID-19 outbreak closes a Brevard County early-voting site

Supervisor says no voters were exposed.

A Palm Bay early voting site in Brevard County closed Friday after election workers there tested positive for COVID-19.

Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott announced Friday that the site is at the supervisor of elections’ Palm Bay administrative offices, which also was temporarily closed, Florida Today reported.

Drop boxes for mail-in ballots were still available at the site, while in-person voting was closed. The location is only used for early voting, and the closure will not affect voting on Election Day Nov. 3, the newspaper reported.

There were 9,369 voters who cast ballots there during the first 11 days of early in-person voting in advance of Tuesday’s election.

Due to the multitude of safety measures and the half-inch ballistic glass between affected workers and the voting public, voters did not have direct exposure with the affected individuals, the Supervisor of Elections office stated in a news release posted on its website.

Scott said nearby early polling places will be more than able to absorb voters who are unable to vote the Palm Bay site.

“The three closest early voting sites to the closed Cogan Drive location are all located within 10 miles and are more than three times as large,” she said in an email to the newspaper.

The Brevard County Supervisor of Elections still has early voting sites open at the Titusville Elections office in Titusville, the Kiwanis Island Park Gymnasium in Merritt Island, the Dr. Joe Lee Smith Community Center in Cocoa, the Viera Regional Community Center in Viera, the David R. Schechter Community Center in Satellite Beach, the Wickham Park Community Center in Melbourne, the Max K. Rodes Park Community Center in West Melbourne, and the Palm Bay Elections Office and the Tony Rosa Palm Bay Community Center in Palm Bay.

“We have been maintaining stringent safety protocols since the Presidential Preference Primary in March,” Scott said in the news release. “It is a tribute to our strict safety measures that we have been able to process almost a half a million voters through the election process this year before having our first positive case.”

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


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