HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) — Municipal elections take place across the state today, and safety procedures are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Homewood city clerk Melody Slater said election officials encountered some obstacles when preparing for the elections.
“Trying to find somebody to work a full shift, 12 hours, and with the pandemic has been challenging,” Salter said.
Those who signed up to serve as poll workers will have to wear face shields. And election officials are asking voters to wear masks. They’re keeping extras on hand in case anyone forgets. But they can’t require masks at polling locations, so Salter said they’ll make sure there’s sufficient space for anyone without a mask to vote safely.
At Homewood polling locations, each voter will be given a stylus to use when voting so they won’t have to touch surfaces.
“Hopefully that will help to do without having to touch a poll pad that somebody else has touched,” Salter said.
If they run out of styluses, they’ll hand out pens, Salter said.
Many voters took their own safety precautions by voting absentee. That was allowed for people who didn’t feel safe casting a ballot in person during a pandemic. Salter said that should make polling locations less crowded that usual, which should help with social distancing. She said they took measures to ensure that everyone who wanted to vote absentee would be able to do so.
“We’ve tried to be as accommodating as we could because so many people would tell me they really wanted to vote but almost didn’t this year because of COVID,” she said. “So we tried to be as responsive as we could to try to allow people to vote.”
Voting began at 7 a.m. and lasts until 7 p.m.
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