Chatham County Board of Elections prepares for runoff elections amidst pandemic

Chatham County Board of Elections prepares for runoff elections amidst pandemic

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -The Democratic Primary runoff election is days away and the Chatham County Board of Elections is preparing for a safe way for you to cast your vote during the pandemic.

The Democratic Runoff election includes races for Chatham County Commission in Districts 2 and 5, State House District 163, Chatham County Coroner, and a congressional seat.

“We’re not expecting a large turnout, but you will see people coming out to vote on Tuesday,” said Antwan Lang with the Chatham County Board of Elections.

Lang says all 91 polling locations will be open and PPE will be used.

“Please wear your mask,” Lang said. “For the health of you and for the safety of yourself and for the safety of our poll workers and poll managers.”

Masks will not be required at the polling locations, but Lang says they are encouraged in order to make the voting process as efficient as possible.

“We’re fully staffed,” he says. “We’re running an entire full operation because it is a countywide ballot.”

Lang says social distancing will be in effect not only inside of a polling location but outside in line.

“The touching and contact is very limited, he said. “So, there is no person-to-person touching. Other than when you’re passing your ID to the person who’s checking you in.”

When it comes to using the machines to cast a vote people will have sterilized pens to use so they don’t have to touch the physical screens.

“There will be sterilization of those machines, of the printers and of everything that’s going to be touched,” Lang said.

Lang says there were some hiccups because of COVID-19 on the June 9 election. This included miscommunication for polling locations that were actually closed because of the pandemic. Lang says they are more prepared this time around.

“We’ve ordered signs for every polling place that has been changed,” he said.

Absentee ballots will still be accepted until the end of the election day Tuesday. Lang says everyone should exercise their right to vote while just being extra careful.

“No matter your age, no matter what’s going on you have to vote. You have to. It’s so important. If you haven’t done an absentee ballot then now is the time for you to vote in person and take every precaution you possibly can.”

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