Coronavirus precautions are expected to dampen voter turnout today as registered Democrats and Republicans go to the polls to participate in Florida’s presidential preference primary. Polling places are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Two Lakeland polling places have already been affected by coronavirus as a pair of senior-oriented facilities withdrew from hosting voters:

  • Precinct 120 voters will go to Gibsonia Baptist Church, 5440 Highway 98 N., instead of The Estates at Carpenters.
  • Precinct 216 voters go to Lake Mirror Center, 121 S. Lake Ave., instead of Florida Presbyterian Homes.

Look up your polling place here.

Sample ballots (Democrat | Republican) were finalized in December, so they show candidates who have since dropped from the race. The Democratic ballot lists 16 candidates, though the field has narrowed to two front-runners: Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. The Republican ballots lists President Donald Trump and three challengers.

Because of coronavirus concerns, elections workers were asked to sanitize voting areas regularly and practice social distancing to the extent possible, and voters are allowed to bring in their own blue or black pens, Polk Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards said.

In Polk County, 23,459 voters already cast ballots before today: 20,070 via mail-in ballots and 3,389 through early-person voting.

Polk County has 155,335 Democrats and 160,589 Republicans eligible to vote in today’s primaries.

To follow voting results after polls close at 7 p.m., check:

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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