Maricopa County recorder: Tuesday election will go on despite coronavirus

Mar 12, 2020, 1:30 PM
(Colter Peterson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)...
(Colter Peterson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
(Colter Peterson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

PHOENIX — Everything from sports leagues to concerts have seen cancellations and postponements in the past 24 hours because of coronavirus, but that won’t be the case for Tuesday’s presidential preference election in Arizona.

Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Thursday that polling places in the county will be open for the Democratic primary election.

Fontes said precautions have been taken — five metro Phoenix polling places have already been moved because of virus concerns — to ensure a safe environment for voters.

“We’ve got to keep this ball rolling. We can’t just stop everything from happening,” Fontes said. “We’re not an entertainment venue like the NBA or Major League Soccer.

“We’re an essential function of this entire nation and we’re going to keep doing what we’re going to do.”

Fontes expects coronavirus to have an impact on voter turnout despite precautions by elections officials. He said his office has been training poll workers on how to keep voting locations clean during the busy day.

They’ll also have additional cleaning and sanitizing supplies available throughout the day.

“Anything that happens at this magnitude is going to have an impact,” Fontes said. “I’d be silly to say everything is perfect. It’s not. But at the end of the day, we’re taking every precaution.”

In-person early voting is still an option for Arizona residents until 5 p.m. Friday.

Fontes said the county’s 37 early voting places haven’t been experiencing lines, so it could be a good option for those wanting to avoid risk.

“Arizona has a very robust permanent early vote list,” Fontes said. “The polling place is a thing of the past for those voters.”

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Maricopa County recorder: Tuesday election will go on despite coronavirus