The New Normal: Primary night was election practice, Now officials are looking to November

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller says voters cast about two times the normal number of mail-in or absentee ballots on Primary night 2020. However, about 96% of all voters still chose to show up in person.

“It was a good day. We had a lot of voters show up,” Schoeller told Ozarks First. “We definitely had more people that chose to vote absentee or do the mail-in ballot option.”

Other efforts, like Plexiglas shields separating the public from election judges and election material sanitation efforts, didn’t go unnoticed by voters.

“There were markers out on the floor so that everyone could keep their distance. There really wasn’t that many people in there so it wasn’t a problem at all. I believe they took enough precautions,” one voter said.

Of course election officials say cleanliness has always been a concern, just not one that was even half as large as it is now.

“We’ve always tried to have cleaning pads and things of that nature for the voting equipment,” Schoeller said, “but back in March, when COVID-19 had become a reality for us, we began to introduce measures then. Yesterday, we, for example, had two people and they were election judges but their entire day was spent making sure the polling location was clean.”

And with that concern still lingering for many voters, Schoeller says you can expect more of the same the next time you visit your polling location.

“We’re going to look to have even more cleaner…present,” he said. “

For example, yesterday, one of the things we figured out was we need a little bit more of the spray cleaner. We were able to take that to the polling locations. We thought we had enough to start the day with and be able to end the day with but that was just one of the adjustments we had to make so we’ll take a look at that. That’s the great thing about the August election for November. It is close enough that we can look and say, ‘ok this is what we need to continue to do, this is what we need to do better. So we can really come together and fine-tune what happens from August as we head towards November.”

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