Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton wanted more early voting stations in Democratic Palm Beach County in the swing state of Florida, according to a Sun-Sentinel report Thursday.
Clinton staffers reportedly wanted many more locations in the Democratic-leaning county citing concerns over “voting deserts” in the county. Some of the early voting sites were too far away from some parts in the county, Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay told reporters after the Clinton team contacted her Monday.
McKinlay reported she would be more than happy to allocate funds to open more sites in the so-called “voting deserts,” particularly in Delray Beach, Greenacres, West Boynton Beach, as well as Lake Worth and West Palm Beach.
"It is important that we do what we can so that voters have access to convenient voting locations,” McKinlay said. “Someone reached out that we need to provide more access to vote, and I asked staff to look into it.”
Although there is pressure from McKinlay and Clinton to add more polling stations, Bucher believes that the number of polling places is adequate to serve the needs of the local community.
“We are pretty confident we are covering all the areas that need to be served,” Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher told the Sun-Sentinel about the 15 approved locations for early voting stations.
Clinton currently carries a five-point-lead statewide in the latest polling, and President Barack Obama carried the Palm Beach area with at least 58 percent of the vote in both 2008 and 2012.
Early voting officially begins in several key states this week including Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota, and Clinton hopes to capitalize on positive numbers coming from early voting in North Carolina. Early voting is expected to be a major player in the 2016 general election, with 50 to 75 percent of voters expected to vote early or absentee.
by Phillip Stucky