ORLANDO, Fla. - Of the over 1,300 people early voting at the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office in Orlando on Tuesday, one was a woman who had gone into labor but wanted to cast her ballot before going to the hospital.
Poll worker Karen Brinceno Gonzalez said she will never forget as the woman made her husband stop so she could vote before delivering her baby. She was at the counter helping early voters when a man immediately handed her two drivers licenses when it was his turn in line, asking for her help.
“'I already voted. I don't need to vote. My wife needs to vote!' I said, 'Where's your wife?' He said, 'In the car.' I said 'We need her here [inside],” Gonzalez explained.
She then started explaining the process of getting a designee ballot. The man then made it clear that that was not was he was looking for.
“He's like 'Yeah, she's about to have a baby, but she won't go to the hospital to have a baby until she votes.' I was like, okay, what can I do to facilitate her to vote? Where is she? Where can I go to help?” Karen recalled.
She followed the man outside to his car where the wife was waiting.
“She was just doing her one, two breathing...in between breaths,” Karen sad.
She immediately began verifying the pregnant woman.
“Made sure she had all her ID by everything, gave her a vote by mail, and informed her it needed to be in by November 3rd by 7 p.m.,” Gonzalez said. “She said, 'No! No! No! I need to fill it out right now.' So she filled it out. I gave her her 'I VOTED' sticker and she was off to the hospital.”
Gonzalez said she was happy to help on such an important day during such a crazy time.
“I take pride in my work and I just wanted to make sure that she voted and she exercised her right before she went to the hospital,” she said.
The Orange County Supervisors of Elections spokesperson said the woman was giving birth at Winne Palmer Hospital, which is less than four miles from their office.