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Sanitizer and wipes: California preps for Super Tuesday as coronavirus spreads

Election officials in California said Monday that they are preparing for Super Tuesday with hand sanitizer and wipes, but aren’t expecting any disruptions from coronavirus even as new cases continue to emerge in the state.

California officials confirmed a case in Sonoma County, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 20 — with most concentrated in Santa Clara County.

Eric Kurhi, a spokesman for the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters, told CNN that the county is following guidelines, which include “keeping hands clean” and encouraging individuals who are sick to stay home.

Visit CNN’s Election Center for full coverage of the 2020 race

“The Registrar of Voters is providing each vote center with hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes to use on the touch screen machines that we have,” said Kurhi. “Following the public health recommendations, we will urge people who feel sick to take the opportunity to mail in their ballot or drop it off at one of our many drop boxes. But we do not anticipate this will affect vote center operations.”

More than 75% of California’s 20 million registered voters got ballots in the mail, state officials said.

“We, of course, will monitor any public health alerts from state or federal officials that could impact election administration. Right now there are no indications of any disruptions,” said Sam Mahood, a spokesman with California’s Secretary of State’s office, in an email to CNN.

More than 3 million votes have already been returned by mail or cast in person in California since early voting started on February 3, according to county data provided by Mahood.

California holds the single biggest pool of delegates in the primary calendar, with 494 at stake.

The Super Tuesday contests together account for a third of all Democratic delegates. The other big delegate haul up for grabs is in Texas, with 228 delegates.

On Monday, San Antonio declared a state of public health emergency following reports that a woman and Wuhan evacuee was released from quarantine in Texas and later tested positive for the coronavirus.

Jacquelyn F. Callanen, a spokeswoman for Bexar County election department, said the county, which includes San Antonio, is expecting a “smooth Election Day” as they have given election officials guidance

“Our poll sites we met with them, we talked with them, they all have hand santizers themselves. There’s no panic here. We are looking for a smooth election tomorrow,” Callanen said.

Over 2 million ballots have already been cast since early and by-mail voting opened on February 18, according to the Texas secretary of state’s office.

Hundreds of thousands of ballots have also been returned in other Super Tuesday states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont and Virginia.

Article Topic Follows: Politics

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