Bell Auditorium converting into polling center


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — In preparation of election day, the Richmond County Board of Elections has decided to use the Bell Auditorium as a polling center.

“The great thing about the Bell Auditorium is it allows us to set up 50 voting machines, enough check-in stations to accommodate that many voters, scanners and, more importantly, to space everything out nicely,” Lynn Bailey, the executive director of the Richmond County Board of Elections, said.

The Board is hoping to keep wait times short. With sanitation and social distancing protocols in place, officials are urging voters to be patient.

“Between the social distancing and cleaning machines in between usages, it will probably take longer to vote in person,” Bailey said.

Richmond County is expecting 45,000 residents to vote using absentee ballots. Lynn Bailey, the executive director of the Richmond County Board of Elections, says ballot applications have been mailed to every registered voter in the area in anticipation of demand. If a voter decides to use an absentee ballot, they must return their application, and a ballot will be sent to their home. Ballots can then be turned in in one of three ways.

“You can either hand-deliver it to us in our office, which is a great option.” Bailey said. “You can put a stamp on it — one 55 cent stamp — and mail it. Or, you can use one of the five drop boxes that we’ll have placed around the city of Augusta.” 

Voters can drop off ballots beginning September 21 in boxes at the Municipal Building office, Augusta Service Center or Warren Road, Henry Brigham or Robert Howard community centers.

For more information on the 2020 election or how to receive an absentee ballot, visit the Richmond County Board of Election’s website.

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