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Elections preparations underway as COVID-19 numbers climb

Published: Jun. 22, 2020 at 8:28 PM EDT
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(WYMT) - Tuesday is Kentucky’s Primary Election Day and while many may be hesitant of voting at the polls due to the coronavirus pandemic, preparation and precautions should ease voters minds.

For Knott County Clerk, Maurica Cornett, election time is nothing new.

“Probably 30 to 40 elections,” she said. Yet her experience in previous elections seems to go out the door this time around due to new regulations surrounding COVID-19.

Extra election prep throughout the commonwealth, to prepare for in-person voting, as health official urge voters to be safe.

“They should wear masks when they are out in public and when they are going to vote. Make sure you are practicing social distancing. All poll workers have appropriate personal protective equipment they will be wearing masks and utilizing gloves, they will be sanitizing the polling stations in between individuals,” said Scott Lockard, Public Heath Director with the Kentucky River District Health Department.

Not only aware of their health but also their whereabouts.

“One of the things to be mindful of is that you may not be voting in your regular location,” Lockard said.

Minimizing the number of polls, helps minimize the potential spread of the virus. Only one in-person voting facility will be open per county.

“We have seen as many cases in the past nine days practically as we have in the past three months,” Lockard said. Confirming the seriousness of this ongoing pandemic.

”We need to be mindful of this we need to be cautious this pandemic is not over,” he said.

Along with new technology, an e-pad, to help speed up the voting process.

“If they do not have some sort of identification we can use their social security number or just we can put in their name and it will bring it up. It is so much better. We used to use a book that you would have to sign and then we have to flip through the book to find their name,” Cornett said.

Other precautions include taking temperatures and floor stickers placed to help voters to social distance.

“We are going to have an ‘A machine’ and a ‘B machine and that way it is going to keep a traffic flow so when the ‘As’ come in they are going to go this way and exit out, and then the ‘Bs’ are going to come this way and exit out. So we are going to have a flow all day long,” she said.

Knowing that wearing a mask and social distancing is important, but so is voting.

“Just come out to vote that is the main cause. So I hope and pray they do,” Cornett said.

“Do not let fear keep you from exercising your constitutional right to vote,” Lockard said.

Each polling location will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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