Runoff election preps for COVID-19

Final touches on election preps

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Tomorrow voters will head back to the polls to settle a number of runoff races.

At the top of the list is the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate between Tommy Tuberville and Jeff Sessions. Today election officials are finishing the final touches making sure the voting precincts are safe.

Tuesday, will be a different kind of election day. It’s the first time voters will head to the polls dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Today, election officials said it will be safe and there will be no one turned away from voting over face coverings.

The Jefferson County Courthouse election machines are out, but signs are up asking voters to social distance as well as markings on the floor. Still voters are nervous.

“Its scary but you got to do what you got to do. Change needs to be done,” Jacquelyn Hardy said.

In the Board of Registrars Office, the chairman believes they are ready.

“We are on the countdown. We are in the final stages of sending equipment out. The rooms are setting up today,” Barry Stephenson said.

Last week Secretary of State John Merrill sent out a memo to election officials telling them despite local laws and health orders no one will be turned away from voting, even if they don’t have a face mask, but face coverings will be encouraged.

“So if someone comes in and they don’t have face mask, maybe they forget. We will be able for provide a limited amount of masks at each precinct,” Stephenson said.

Poll workers will do what they can to keep the precinct sanitized.

”We don’t have disposable pens but we are going to be wiping everything down on a regular basis and people can bring their own black pens if they so desire,” Stephenson said.

One voter said overcome your fears and vote.

“Get out and vote. It is what it is. Stay safe and social distancing is a must,” Hardy said.

Stephenson said after the vote is certified they will begin working on the much larger November Presidential election.

Stephenson said if there is still a high infection rate and hospitalizations continue to rise, it’s going to create a problem. He doesn’t know now just what plan they will come with to address it.

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