Polk Supervisor of Elections - Lori Edwards

Polk Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards

POLK COUNTY – Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards recently said that, thankfully, there were no major complications associated with the pandemic in the recent primary election.

She added that she is not expecting any complications for the general election in November.

“We had plenty of returning (poll) workers, as well as some newbies,” Edwards said. “I hope the new workers become returning workers. We began procuring (personal protection equipment) in April, so we had the supplies that we needed.

"We maintained a 6-foot social distance (policy) for voters in line and all our workers wore face coverings. Of course surfaces were disinfected throughout the day.”

Edwards won her own reelection during the primary election, fending off a challenge from Debbie Hannifan.

Edwards, who served in the Florida House of Representatives for many years as a member of the Democratic Party, reflected on some of the national controversy surrounding mail-in voting.

“I am not as concerned about it as some folks who read lots of scary headlines,” Edwards said. “We have terrific postal workers here in Polk County and I have every confidence that they will go the extra mile to be sure that mail ballots are delivered on time. Most of the fuss has been about all-mail ballot states. In Florida, we only mail ballots to eligible, registered voters who request to vote by mail.”

Every state allows some method for voters to cast ballots by mail. Voting my mail comes in two categories – ballots mailed out only after a voter requests such and ballots mailed out automatically to every registered voter.

Americans in five states have been voting almost exclusively by mail long before the pandemic. Since the pandemic, politicians in 22 states have established some form of temporary automatic mail ballot systems.

According to WhiteHouse.gov, on Aug. 15 President Donald J. Trump seemed to agree with Edwards in that mail in voting during the general election probably won't be a problem in Florida. The president said it could be a problem in other states.

“Again, absentee voting is great,” a transcript of the president stated. “You request — I’m an absentee voter because I requested, I got, and then I sent in my vote. So that works out very well. That’s what we’ve had. But now they want to send in millions and millions of ballots.

"And you see what’s happening. They’re being lost, they’re being discarded. They’re finding them in piles. It’s going to be a catastrophe."