Craighead County puts election COVID-19 safety measures to the test

 

JONESBORO, Ark- Due to COVID-19, the next time one head to the poll’s things will look a little different.

 

With the Jonesboro Public Schools special election, we are seeing what safety changes will occur for the November presidential election.

 

“We’ve been using face shields and masks at the annex,” says Craighead County Elections Coordinator Jennifer Clack. “We’re cleaning in between every voter. We’ve only had 82 voters in as of Wednesday, so we’ve had plenty of time to clean in between everybody. Everything is going pretty well.”

 

This is the first time they’re putting their full election COVID safety measures to the test.

 

Treating the March 31st state primary runoff and this special election as a trial run for November.

 

Clack says she knows the general election will bring a bigger crowd but says they will continue to sanitize each machine between uses.

 

Markers are on the floor six feet apart to promote social distancing. Clack says they will never turn a voter away, even if they have COVID symptoms.

 

“Get the annex cleared out of voters, make sure no one was exposed” says Clack. “Take them to the back of the annex and I would personally handle that voter. Take them through the process and of course, come back and sanitize everything.”

 

Clack says while she knows that would make wait times longer but says she wants to keep everyone safe.

 

She does encourage people to early, absentee vote or mail in their ballot.

 

Clack says masks won't be required as stated by the governor.

 

The annex can accommodate up to 15 people at a time while social distancing and machines already being 6 feet apart.

 

The county did receive cares act funding for election PPE, which should arrive next week.

 

Clack says her goal is to get people in and out fast.

 

She hopes people will educate themselves about issues on the ballot and come prepared.

 

Early voting will continue at the annex on Monday, with election day voting on Tuesday at the hurricane gym at Jonesboro High School.

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