Pandemic protection at the polls

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Voters continue to say COVID-19 is something that they constantly think about when casting a ballot.

Tonight our Alexis Wainright spoke with the election commission about what they’re doing to keep people safe as we see a rise in cases.

“A huge voter turn out, we hit over 100 thousand voters on Saturday of early voting. That’s about 33 percent higher than 2016,” said Joshua Price, Pulaski County Election Commissioner.

Arkansans continue to raise the bar set in 2016 for voter turnout.

“The best way to know your vote is counted right then and there is to vote in person so that’s what a lot of people have been wanting to do but we have very strict safety protocols here in Pulaski County,” said Price

With a rise in voters many of them are still choosing in-person voting during a pandemic.

Pulaski County election commissioner Joshua price says they had a few months to find ways for Arkansans to vote and stay safe, along with adopting CDC guidelines.

“We have someone open the door for you, so we’re trying to limit all those touchpoints. You sign in with a stylist you get to keep the stylist. You vote with a pen, you get to keep the pen, and then all the machines are wiped down after every use, with alcohol, and then hand sanitizer is available all throughout. All the poll workers are wearing masks and voters, while not required to wear masks are strongly encouraged to do so,” said Price

We asked Price how they keep track of whats been cleaned with so many guidelines in place.

“We actually have poll workers that are dedicated just for cleaning. So there will be a poll worker that just walks around the whole time and is wiping everything down with rags and spraying everything,” said Price.

Out of the 1000 poll workers in the county, no one has tested positive.

He also has a message for anyone planning to vote Tuesday.

“Anybody that is in line by 7:30 on Election Day will get to vote. The cut-off is 7:30 but if you’re already in line it doesn’t matter if it takes you till 9 o’clock,” said Price

As far as election day, Price says they have 200 poll workers, who just finished training, on stand by if they have a huge turn-out tomorrow and need help.

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