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Polling centers take extra measures to keep voters safe

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. — It is Primary Tuesday here in Indiana—your chance to get out and voice your vote!

The primary election comes almost a full month after the original date back in May was cancelled and pushed to June 2nd due to the coronavirus per the Governors direction.

Voting came with a bit of anxiety for a lot of people today because while the date was pushed, we are still fighting that predominant COVID-19 threat.

However, the Saint Joseph County election officials have been working hand in hand with the Saint Joseph County Health department to implement extra cleaning measures to keep poll volunteers, staff, and voters safe.

“I think that they have adopted pretty simple measures to keep the election workers safe the people voting safe all in support of democracy,” said Saint Joseph County Deputy Health Officer, Dr. Mark Fox.

The measures include thoroughly cleaning the voting devices in between each user along with personal hand sanitizer use.

“You know the voters will be expected to use hand sanitizer when they come up, the election supervisor will be using hand sanitizer between each voter and they will be sanitizing the actual devices,” said Dr. Fox.

Along with sanitization, social distancing and mask wearing are the other two key steps to keep everyone as safe as possible while voting in person.

One of the questions on voters minds though is, will they be forced to wear a mask when voting?

“So it’s a required public order for entering an enclosed public space with that said people won’t be excluded from voting for not wearing a mask but there will be additional sanitization that goes on in that event,” said Dr. Fox.

For the sake of safety wearing a mask is highly recommended because the risk of contamination is still possible. 

“If people are really crowded into an auditorium or a public space that would maybe be more worrisome than if they are able to maintain the physical distancing along with sanitization measures I don’t think it doesn’t carry any greater risk than going to the grocery store and probably less risk than that.”

When heading to the polls, aside from a mask, you need to bring a state issued I.D. and just be prepared for longer than usual lines due to the extra time it takes to properly clean the equipment.

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