PALM BEACH, Fla. — Security was heavy at the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center in Palm Beach, Fla., where just one person went inside barefaced, despite a mask mandate in this county: First Lady Melania Trump.
The first lady, who contracted Covid-19 last month, smiled and waved at reporters and said she was feeling “great.” She was surrounded by Secret Service agents, aides and the county’s supervisor of elections, Wendy Sartory Link, who were all wearing masks.
Her husband voted early days ago, but Mrs. Trump said she chose to vote in person at a community center about two miles north of Mar-a-Lago. There are nearly three times as many Republicans than Democrats in the two precincts assigned to vote here.
“It’s Election Day, so I wanted to come here to vote today for the election,” Mrs. Trump told a small group of journalists who had been cleared by the Secret Service to see her.
Voters had been cleared out, but a few of her supporters were outside holding signs, including Christy Moore, whose sign proclaimed: “We ❤️ Melania.”
“He was anointed by God,” Ms. Moore said of the president.
Ms. Sartory acknowledged that there was a mask mandate in Palm Beach County but said if voters are “not able” to wear one, they are not prevented from casting their ballots.
By 7:30 a.m., 12,000 people had already voted in the county. At first, Ms. Sartory said she was alarmed that the number was so high within 30 minutes of polls opening and thought that the tracking must be off. Surely a vendor must have made a mistake, she said. It turned out to be correct.
“Everything was perfect,” she said of Mrs. Trump’s five-minute visit to the polling station. “She was the only voter in the room at the time.”
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