Absentee requests pouring in at Elections Board

County of Columbus

Officials are seeing 100 to 200 mail in requests for absentee ballots every day.

COVID-19 and a presidential election is making for a busy time at the county board of elections, as voters make plans to avoid infection and elections officials make plans to keep everything clean.

Elections officials are seeing from 100 to 200 absentee ballot requests every day, Board of Elections Supervisor Carla Strickland said Friday

“This election is going to be a whammy,” Strickland said. “There’s always a lot of interest from both sides of the aisle when there’s a presidential election.”

Presidential elections are typically the busiest contests, Strickland said, as state and U.S. house and senate seats and other positions are also on the ballot. It’s always a big time for absentee ballots, Strickland said, but this year is unusually busy.

Plans are being finalized to keep polling places safe and sanitary for voters who cast a traditional ballot, Strickland said.

“We will have PPE (personal protection equipment) for our works,” she said. “There will be masks available for people who don’t bring their own. Hand sanitizer will be at every poll. We’ll have face- and desk-shields and gloves.”

The extra supplies – as well as the additional $2 per hour ‘hazard pay” for all pollworkers – is coming through a federal COVID-19 response grant.

A major issue, however, is when those pollworkers will be at their stations.

In a rare split vote in July, the Elections Board was divided on whether to have four satellite one-stop polls plus the Elections office open on a Saturday and Sunday, or five polls plus the BOE open Monday through both Saturdays.  The State Board of Elections will make a decision on how to direct the county on Aug. 31.

About Jefferson Weaver 1975 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].