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WUSF News is committed to covering the upcoming presidential election with a focus on the issues – and not the political horse race. WUSF is pairing with WMFE in Orlando to cover the 2020 presidential election with a specific focus on the I-4 Corridor. We will focus on the issues and topics that matter most to voters in this crucial region, who could sway the election.

Manatee Voters Cast Their Ballots Despite Coronavirus Concerns

Woman and man stand next to Vote sign
Cathy Carter
Karen Toney and Matt Fernandez cast their ballots Tuesday in Manatee County.

As Floridians continue social distancing, many others headed out to the polls on Primary Day.

Before heading into Lakewood Ranch Town Hall to vote, Karen Toney of Bradenton took a minute to snap a selfie. The 27-year old said, yes, she was a bit concerned about venturing out -- but not enough to stop her from casting her ballot. 

"I just think it’s really important for us to be able to do this and for us to make our voices heard and especially where other people are not able to vote, I think we have to vote and think about other people when we do that," she said.

Her boyfriend, 29-year old Matt Fernandez, said the couple checked the news before leaving the house to make sure nothing had changed in regards to Tuesday's election. They both said they were pleased to see fellow voters arriving.

"I was worried that maybe people weren't coming out to vote because of the coronavirus scare and how that might affect how the turnout would have been otherwise," said Fernandez.

RESULTS: County-By-County Breakdown Of Biden's Sweeping Win

Poll workers at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall said traffic had been slower than in previous elections but was steady through the morning. Lunch hour saw a small but noticeable uptick.

As of Tuesday night, votes from all 70 precincts and early votes had been counted. Vote by mail ballots were partially counted. The Manatee County Supervisor of Elections website reported voter turnout of 36.5%.

Joe Biden received 61.95% of the Democratic vote, Bernie Sanders got 18.9%.

As a reporter, my goal is to tell a story that moves you in some way. To me, the best way to do that begins with listening. Talking to people about their lives and the issues they care about is my favorite part of the job.
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