Rachel Lansperry

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, voting in the state of Florida was limited. Many citizens could not take part because of concern for their safety. (source of picture Washington Post)

Christina Davenport, Reporter

COVID-19 also widely known as Coronavirus has sparked extra precautions as everyone frantically tries to stay healthy during this global pandemic. As of August 22nd, it had been the fifth consecutive day in a row where the number of daily COVID-19 cases has lowered to under 5,000 cases, yet the fluctuation between those cases and the fatality rate continues to display a contradiction. So, with these statistics showcasing drastic change, what changes have been made in hopes of slowing down the spread?

Back in July, Governor Ron DeSantis and Vice President Pence were interviewed during a Press Conference held at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, discussing the remarks on the state from the global pandemic. 

“Part of the reason I think people have also generated better outcomes is some of the therapeutics that have been developed, including this new therapeutic, remdesivir. Florida’s case fatality rate is about 1.3 percent.  It’s one of the lowest case-fatality rates in the country amongst large states.  And part of the reason is some of the great work that our medical professionals are doing here at the University of Miami Health System.” said DeSantis. 

Following this interview much had gone downhill for DeSantis as cases started to rise again. The medicine known as “remdesivir” that was deemed as a solution, merely fell apart as scientists did not see any changes with the experiments conducted. However, as time went on businesses and the market’s started to regulate wearing a mask in public. As of right now many Republican states such as Arizona, Ohio, and Georgia have held back on voting in the primary due to the risk of catching COVID-19 and the spread becoming vastly larger. However, Governor DeSantis believes this is not the case.

“There’s no need to panic. We’re definitely voting,” he said August 21st at a coronavirus briefing. “They voted during the Civil War. We’re going to vote,” said DeSantis. 

In an effort to keep the elderly safe from the deadly virus, DeSantis made a decision to shut down voting sights for the primaries near retirement homes. However, due to this decision, the election lost a good majority of voters and many Democrats aren’t too happy about this decision. 

“We agree with the governor’s decision. We think it’s a good policy to protect at-risk populations,” “But there is no list of impacted voting locations. It’s information we want to help communicate to voters, but we were told by the governor’s office there is no list, and won’t be before Election Day.” said Juan Peñalosa, executive director of the Florida Democratic Party.

With the decision of the governor, it was time for Peñalosa to step in along with a few volunteers to help fix the issue with the poll sites. They devised a plan to create their own list in hope of knowing exactly what areas the voting polls would be closed. Another issue was the number of workers that sat out of voting this year since the majority of the workers are elderly and at elevated risk of catching corona. Pasco County elections supervisor, Brian Corley, stated that he’s lost a total of 175 workers so far. In an effort to fill those spots he’s turned to the county police department, schools, and county government for help. However, Corely is also said to be doing something unimaginable. Telling people not to attend the voting.

“If anyone is unsure, don’t go to the polls, as much as it pains me to say that,” Corley said. “Elections are wonderful, but this is a political party nominating contest,” said Corely.

However, those who chose to attend the voting were kept six feet apart, poll workers wore masks and gloves, there was Plexiglas separating the voters, and sanitization happening after each person. At least 3.7 million Floridians voted in the election however, 3 out of 4 primary voters had either voted through the mail or chose to vote early. This was just a minor test run to see a slight view as to what they should prepare for in the fall. The U.S general election will be held on November 3, 2020 however, that date may be moved and rescheduled for a different day. Until then, it’s just a race to the finish.