Polling locations at Jacksonville assisted living facilities moved

Change comes due to concerns that elderly population more vulnerable to coronavirus

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office is moving three polling locations after concerns for the elderly population contracting the coronavirus continues to grow.

Precinct 310, which is located at the Windsor at San Pablo assisted living facility, is moving to Fire Station 59 at 14097 W.M. Davis Parkway, about 2 miles away.

Precinct 1101, which is located at Elm Croft of Timberlin Park assisted living facility, is moving to The Park at Polenza located at 10023 Belle Rive Blvd., about a mile away.

Precinct 607, which is located at the Augustine Landing “independent living” retirement community, is moving to the Mandarin Branch Library at 3330 Kori Road, just over a mile away.

Precinct 711, which is located at the Police Athletic League of Jacksonville Eastside Community Center, is moving to the Robert F. Kennedy Community Center, Gymnasium and Park at 1133 Ionia St., less than a mile away. This change was not due to the coronavirus, but because of a fire Saturday night.

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The polling location changes are for Election Day, March 17, only.

Early voting in Duval County will continue through Sunday, and election workers are taking precautions, including wiping down voting equipment with sanitized wipes every hour at each site.

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Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan is also watching voter turnout. He had been calling for it to be around 42% to 44%.

“We think turnout might be lighter because of what is going on nationally. We’re hoping not,” Hogan said Thursday. “We’re taking all the precautions that have been listed and provided to us by the CDC. We feel very confident we can pull this off without having any problems.”

And while voters may not show up in droves, election workers will be there. Hogan said there have been "a few that have taken off for fear of, maybe, the virus,” but he added that he does not believe there will be a shortage of poll workers come Election Day.

Coronavirus looms over Florida primary

Elections supervisors around the state are also watching to see how the virus may impact voter turnout.

At a polling place in the state’s capital city, early voting had slowed down to a trickle Thursday.

“I’m seeing a little bit less turnout today than I’d expected because it’s kind of late in the week of early voting,” said Leon County Supervisor of Elections Mark Earley.

Earley said the virus may be a factor, but he and other supervisors, in coordination with the secretary of state, are taking every precaution.

“In many instances, after every single voter -- if they touch a pen, we wipe it down with a disinfectant wipe. If they put their ballot on a privacy booth surface to vote, we clean the surface,” Earley said.

Early voter Katie Britt Williams said the coronavirus was a concern, but not enough to keep her from the polls.

"I’ve also heard really awesome feedback from people who have already gone that it’s really clean,” Williams said.

More than 1.4 million Floridians have either early voted or cast a ballot through the mail so far, compared to 1.8 million in 2016, but the biggest impact to turnout could be on Election Day itself.

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