Major concerns in keeping voters safe from COVID-19

Keeping voters safe at the polls

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A week from today, Alabama voters will return to the polls in the runoff between republican candidates, Jeff Sessions and Tommy Tuberville for the nomination to the U.S. Senate race.

But there are big concerns in keeping voters safe from the coronavirus.

While a lot of preparations are being taken, election officials will push for social distancing, and there will be cleaning and sanitization materials.

Next week will be a small turnout, but it should provide much needed information for election officials getting ready for the big presidential election in November.

The Jefferson County Board of Registrars is doing all it can to keep the voters and their poll workers safe from COVID-19 next week during the runoff election.

“The age of our poll workers skews a little bit older, but we are going to have disinfectant sprays, disinfectant wipes, alcohol wipes, and hand sanitizers,” Barry Stephenson, Chair of the Jefferson County Board of Registrars said.

Poll workers will have face coverings and there will be a limited amount of face coverings for voters who forget to bring their masks to the precinct. Pens will be thrown out or cleaned after their use.

“There is a lot things we hope to learn next week’s election is far as traffic flow, voter flow, and the parking, and how the personal protection equipment works inside the precinct,” Stephenson said.

Still it’s going to be a major challenge developing a plan for the Presidential election in the fall with a major voter turnout.

“So how is that going to work and coordinate with social distancing? How does that work getting everyone into and out of the precinct on an inclement day,” Stephenson said.

But he says they will work on a variety of plans.

“What is the status of the coronavirus at that time? Is it high or not? Is there a vaccine by then? It won’t be easy,” Stephenson continued.

Stephenson expects to see a lot of people turning to absentee ballots.

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