- The Washington Times - Friday, March 27, 2020

Two people in Florida who worked the polls for the state’s March 17 presidential primary have tested positive for coronavirus, the Miami Herald reported on Thursday.

The workers, who have not been identified, worked precincts at the Martin Luther King Community Center and the David Park Community Center in the city of Hollywood.

“We just don’t know, did they contract it after or before? That’s between them and their physician,” said Steve Vancore, a spokesman for the Broward County Supervisor of Elections. “It’s just something that can’t be known, at least not to us. We just felt it was important to notify the public and, of course, their fellow poll workers who were there.”

He said the worker at the Martin Luther King Community Center is asymptomatic, and that the person was a greeter and wouldn’t have had to come into proximity or contact with the 204 people who voted there.

The worker at the David Park Community Center is showing symptoms and had been checking in voters, meaning the person likely would have handled some driver’s licenses for the 61 voters who showed up there.

“We do not know if he was wearing gloves at this time,” Mr. Vancore told the paper.

The second worker also worked at an early voting center at the Weston Branch Library over a period of early voting from March 7-15, though Mr. Vancore said the person was not in a position to handle materials or come into contact with the more than 3,000 people who voted early there.

The 16 poll workers who worked alongside the two people who tested positive and the workers at the early voting center have been contacted.

The office of Broward County Supervisor Peter Antonacci said people who voted at those locations “may wish to take appropriate steps and seek medical advice.”

Florida, Arizona and Illinois held their primaries on March 17, a day after President Trump announced federal guidance that people should avoid crowds of more than 10 people.

Voters ended up being greeted by polling locations that were closed or that opened late, with some poll workers wary of venturing out in public amid the expanding coronavirus outbreak.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine invoked a health emergency late in the day on March 16 to postpone in-person voting for his state’s primary that had been scheduled to take place the next day as well.

A number of states are looking into expanding vote-by-mail and absentee options for future primaries and the general election in November.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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