Early voting is still going on and it’s safe to head to the polls, election officials say.
Hart County Board of Elections Chairman Garry Hamilton showed The Sun several of the extra steps they’ve taken at the Agriscience Center, where early voting was moved to for more space, to ensure voter and poll worker safety at the polls.
“The main thing I want people to get is they can come in here and feel secure,” Hamilton said.
When walking through the door, voters can expect to be asked to have their temperature checked. If a voter is running a fever, they’ll be asked to go to a separate line away from the general public where two voting machines are available for people who could possibly be sick.
Anyone who registers a fever is asked to use a mask, Hamilton said, which are available to the public when walking through the door.
Sneeze-guards line the tables where poll workers are seated, limiting contact between workers and voters.
“We tried to follow each and every rule that (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommended and exceed it where possible,” Hamilton said.
On top of regular cleaning inside the facility, the stylists and the cards used to vote with are sanitized after each use, Hamilton said.
Voting machines are placed more than six-feet apart from one another and there is red tape lining the floors showing voters a safe distance to stand while waiting in the building.
“I want the public to know that there’s plenty of room and that social distancing is practiced,” Hamilton said.
More than 360 voters had cast their votes as of Friday, which is about on par for what they normally would see at this point in early voting during other years, elections coordinator Robin Webb said. She said they haven’t seen any days with less than 50 voters in a day, and she expects that number to rise as election day draws closer.
Webb said about 15 to 20 percent of voters who applied for absentee ballots have cancelled them to vote in-person.
Long lines have not been an issue so far, officials said. But if lines were to become an issue, the lines would extend outdoors to keep as few people indoors as possible at one time.
Early voting is every week day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until June 5 at the Hart County Agriscience Center located at 1951 Bowman Highway. A Saturday voting day will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 30.
Election day is scheduled for June 9.