PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Gov. Doug Ducey and other government officials held a news conference, where they said Tuesday's Arizona Presidential Preference Election will go on as planned.
"This decision was not made lightly and what it all comes down to is that we have no guarantee that there will be a safer time to hold this election in the near future," said Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. "There are thousands of workers in communities across the state that must continue the job of counting the ballots in the days following the election. The longer we wait, the more difficult and dangerous this will become."
She said some counties are offering emergency voting and curb-side voting. There are also drive-up boxes for voters to drop off their ballots. More information can be found at the Secretary of State's website.
"Democracy must go on," said Gov. Doug Ducey.
There will also be hand washing stations and hand sanitizer at the polling places. Officials said social distancing should be practiced at the polls, too. With only one thing on the ballot, Hobbs said voters should be in and out quickly, and there shouldn't be crowds.
"Polling place workers, we've been working across the state to make sure they have what they need to implement the guidelines," said Hobbs. "If there are people in line to social distance and making sure those things are maintained."
The coronavirus outbreak has already affected the number of polling places. In Maricopa County, there are 151 polling spots, down from the original 229. Nursing homes and churches decided not to serve as polling places and some workers backed out. The new “vote anywhere centers” will allow registered Democrats in the state’s most populous county to cast a ballot at any official polling place in the county; there’s no need to visit an assigned precinct polling place. The locations are available online at http://Maricopa.Vote.
As of Monday morning, there are 18 total cases in Arizona, including eight in Maricopa County. There have been no deaths.
The disease for most people causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some, particularly older people or those with underlying health conditions, it can cause more severe illness.