This Woman in Labor Stopped at the Polls to Vote Before Going to the Hospital
November 4, 2020
One woman from Florida made a pit stop at the polls to cast her vote before heading to the hospital to have her baby.
On October 27, a man approached the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office, located in Orlando, with an unusual request: He wanted a vote-by-mail ballot for his wife. The office explained in a statement to CNN that it was for his wife, who was in labor and waiting in a car outside the office.
Karen Briceño González, who works in the voter service department, told the outlet it was unlike anything she had seen. “I have not seen anything like this before, but our job is to make sure that every eligible voter votes. No matter the circumstances, we’re going to ensure that they vote even if it’s someone in labor in a car,” she said.
Briceño González was approached by the husband while working at the counter. According to the office, the woman had refused to go to the hospital until she had voted. “I was helping at the counter with the voters for early voting and I got a gentleman handing me 2 driver’s licenses," Briceño González told CNN. “I was telling him, ‘No, I just need yours. If the other person wants to come in and vote, they can.’ And he said, ‘No, you don’t understand. My wife’s going to have a baby.’”
She then quickly printed a vote-by-mail ballot and rushed out to the car to verify the woman, who she said was “calm” as she filled it out. “She just thanked me and was like, 'Oh my gosh, thank you for making it so easy.’ It wasn’t a lot of conversation. I think she was concentrating on herself,” Briceño González said. “I gave her an I voted sticker, and the little girl that she had in the car, I also gave the little girl a flag, and they were off.”
While the office hasn’t maintained contact with the woman, they wish her and her family well. In a statement to CNN, Danaë Rivera-Marasco, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office, said, “She has not been identified—but we hope she and baby are doing great!"
As for Briceño González, she said she’s happy she could help the woman cast her vote. “I was happy to print out the ballot and just make sure that I made it as easy as possible so she could go ahead and go to the hospital," she said. “I just wanted to make sure that as an American citizen that she got to vote.”