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Election officials confident not to repeat past states' mistakes in primary

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. — St. Joseph County officials say they're optimistic of the safety standards at primary voting sites.

Both the County-City Building in downtown South Bend and the County Services Building will keep its polls open through Monday, though in order to enter the premises voters will have to be wearing personal protective equipment to ward off coronavirus spread, while also using provided hand sanitizers and wipes.

Additionally, voting booths are placed no closer than six feet apart.

Political analyst Dr. Elizabeth Bennion of IU-South Bend said that might not be enough to keep some usual voters from sitting out the primary.

“There may be others who stay at home out of fear for their safety,” Bennion said. “But I think one thing that will offset the lower rates of people voting in person will be this much larger number of people who are voting by mail.”

In fact, as of Tuesday, St. Joseph County already has the most mail-in ballots issued for a primary ever.

St. Joseph County Health Dept. Assistant Director for Environmental Health Brett Davis said as always during the pandemic, voters will have to be aware and respectful of each other’s space, but proper preparations have been taken for each polling site.

“I’m confident the precautions that we’ve taken should adequately evade the coronavirus threat,” Davis said.

All St. Joseph County voting information can be found here.

General information and locations for the rest of northern Indiana can be found on the state website.

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