Pulaski County Adds Sandwich Bags for Safe Electronic Signing for Walk-In Voters
Pulaski County is having a strong response from voters for the June 23 primary election, with both mail-in ballots and walk-in voting.
Election Coordinator Mark Vaught said the county has already had more than 2,600 walk-in voters.
He said he's taken an extra step to make sure voters who walk in to cast a ballot are safe during this time of COVID-19.
He said the additional safety precaution is because people sign the electronic poll book with their finger.
“I went and bought a bunch of sandwich bags so people could wrap it around their finger, so they could sign their name on the E-poll book, so they won’t transfer whatever germs to the E-poll book," said Vaught. "I took a picture of somebody signing with their finger encased in a sandwich bag."
Vaught said he bought 3,000 of the bags.
It’s an inexpensive safety precaution that can encourage people to vote during the pandemic.
There has also been a steady stream of mail-in ballots being returned.
Pulaski County has sent out 11,000 ballots for the primary and so far, more than 4,600 have been returned. “It’s been hectic. I mean it’s a new process we’ve not had before, but we’ve adapted to it pretty quick," said Vaught. "We’ve had two days with over 1,000 ballots each day. We did 1,032 on Monday, and we did 1,300 that first Wednesday.”
Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by June 23.
Voters can still walk-in for early voting.
They can also cast in-person ballots on Election Day at at least one designated polling site in each county.
Many county election officials are choosing one large site per county because of a shortage of poll workers, and to allow for social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.