How safe are voting locations during COVID-19?
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- The coronavirus has changed the way we conduct a lot of our business.
So, what about voting?
Hamilton County election officials suggest that early voting is a great time to vote if you are worried about possible crowds and COVID-19.
Kerry Steelman, the Director of the Hamilton County Elections Commission says, “I really would like to encourage voters who have any apprehension about getting out and voting. Certainly recognize that we are taking extraordinary measures to provide a safe voting environment for voters.”
The Hamilton County Election Commission says that they have already seen an increase in early voters.
“Early voting locations generally account for our most spacious of our polling sites which permit us to be able to accommodate more voters at a single time while still adhering to the recommended spacing requirements”, adds Steelman.
Election officials have been working to make sure voters and poll workers are safe and following CDC recommendations.
Kerry Steelman says, “Poll workers are behind plexi-glass shields, they will all be wearing a face mask, or face shield, some will have gloves, sanitizing hand gel will be available for both workers as well as voters.”
Devonne Fouche and her family prefer to vote on Election Day.
But, COVID-19 has prompted them to participate in early voting.
“Normally, I really like to vote on election day, that is really important to me. But, because of COVID-19, we didn’t want to have to be in long lines or spend a lot of time around a lot of people and we just thought that it would be safer”, says Fouche.
Dan Spahr, who also voted today says, “Well, this couldn’t have been any easier. I’m such a dummy, that I forgot my mask. But, they let me in anyway. It is very clean and easy. It took 30 seconds so, it was well worth the drive.”
There are four early voting locations in Hamilton County. You can vote in Hixson, Collegedale, Brainerd or at the Election Commission. Absentee ballots must be received by July 30th and Election Day is August 6th.