Montgomery Probate Judge Outlines Election-Day Procedures
Monday was a busy day at polling locations across the state, in preparation for Tuesday’s run-off election. Voting will undoubtedly look different this year, as polling sites are implementing health and safety guidelines for poll workers and voters.
“You’ll be greeted by a poll worker wearing personal protective equipment”, explained Montgomery probate Judge JC Love as he walked Alabama News Network through how election day will be run at Vaughn Park Church of Christ. It’s one of Montgomery’s 49 voting precincts.
“These are the face masks that we’ll have for the poll workers and the general public” he said, explaining that voters will be given a pair of gloves as they enter, a mask if they don’t have their own, and a disposable pen. “That’s in addition to wiping down election equipment and wiping down our surfaces” he said.
Election officials say Alabamians have requested nearly five times more absentee ballots than a typical run-off election. However, even with projected 17%-22% voter turnout, Love said the wait to vote may be a little longer at some voting sites. “We’re spacing out our voters so we’ve limited the amount of people we can let in at a time, so we’re asking for everyone’s patience” he explained.
For months, election officials have been evaluating how to safely conduct Tuesday’s election process. As Alabama’s COVID -19 case numbers continue to rise, judge Love says there are already some concerns as to what November’s general election-day may hold.
“We lost about a third of our poll workers but we still had enough to be able to staff all 49 of our precincts” he said referring to Tuesday’s election, “but we do have to understand that the average age of our poll workers are over the age of 70 and with this virus this the group of people that are more susceptible to some of its negative effects”.
Polls are open from 7am -7pm Tuesday. There is no state mandate requiring Alabamians to wear a mask to the polls, but voters must follow local ordinances for wearing masks in public.