By Howard Monroe


BENSALEM, Pa. (CBS) — Despite nearly everything else being shut down, an election is still taking place in Bensalem amid the coronavirus outbreak, and some voters were nervous about coming out. Polls opened Tuesday morning for a special election in the 18th State House District.

This comes after a failed attempt to get the election postponed.

Some voters were on edge in Bensalem as they went to the polls.

“I’m 70-something years old. I’m a little bit nervous about it,” Ed Tokmajian said. “I’m uncomfortable coming. I did bring wipes to wipe things down. I brought gloves. I brought my own pen.”

A judge ruled Monday that the election will go on as planned despite governor-mandated shutdowns due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Bucks County and a poll worker sued to postpone it.

The county argued that they would have difficulty finding poll workers. They also argued the health of voters could be put at risk.

However, a judge said there was no legal precedent to calling off an election on such short notice.

The election is to fill the seat vacated by former state Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, who is now a county commissioner.

Despite the concerns, voter turnout was strong.

“It’s a constant flow, which is good, because it’s not a hard crowd situation, so if they continue to come in, in this respect, we should do really well with the count of people coming out to vote,” poll worker Wayne Lewis said.

The Board of Elections wanted to postpone the election until at least April 28, when Pennsylvanians will vote in the presidential primary.

“It’s great to see democracy working. Everything at the polls are safe. Use hand sanitizer, hand wipes, new pens. All precautions have been taken,” Democratic nominee Harold Hayes said.

“Obviously if you’re sick, stay home, we don’t want you to come out. But if you’re good and you keep your distance and follow all the restrictions, we’re happy to see you here,” Republican nominee K.C. Tomlinson said.

There was hand sanitizer inside the polling place and the county is urging people to practice social distancing when waiting to cast their ballot. Polls are open until 8 p.m.