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Protocols in place for polling locations

Like nearly all aspects of society, the act of voting is going to look a little different in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Voters will be expected to, among other things, wear a mask when they go to their polling place Tuesday.

“We cannot turn anyone away if they don’t wear a facemask,” said Elections Director Lisa Rivett, noting that guidelines for voters that will be posted at the polling place ask for compliance “out of courtesy of the poll workers.”

Personal protective equipment will be provided to poll workers and there will be disposable masks available for voters.

“We’re encouraging people to bring their own pens,” if voting via paper ballot, or to use the stylus for the election machines so that the poll workers won’t have to wipe down the screens after each voter, Rivett said.

Rivett wanted to remind voters that absentee or mail-in-ballots have to be returned to her office at the courthouse and can’t be taken to the polling locations as they wouldn’t make it back to the courthouse by the deadline of 8 p.m.

Those who requested such a ballot will be unable to utilize the voting machines but could complete a paper provisional ballot.

Those ballots can be dropped off now at a drop box at the Fifth Ave. entrance to the courthouse.

Rivett said those voting in-person on Tuesday can request to vote via paper ballot “no questions asked” if they don’t want to utilize the machines.

The only polling place change will be the merger of Warren West and Warren South at St. Joseph Catholic Church.

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