The Richmond County Board of Elections is working to make sure voters and poll workers are safe during Advance Voting

CSRA News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Advance Voting is set to begin May 18th and will continue through June 5th. This year’s voting process will run a little differently. The Richmond County Board of Elections Office is pushing the use of absentee ballots.

“Just because you do that doesn’t lock you into that process forever,” said Lynn Bailey. “It’s a one-time thing that we are doing, so we can operate safely under our living conditions.”

Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey says her office has mailed out 27,000 absentee ballots. So far, eight thousand have come back.

“I think it’s worth the mention to recognize for an election like this, the average number of people who vote in total is about 24,000,” said Bailey.

You can vote in-person. If you choose too, you will be advised to wear a face covering. Sanitizing stations will be throughout the facility. However, Bailey says this method is expected to take longer than the usual voting process.

“To have proper social distancing, we are not going to have much equipment in our polling sites,” explained Bailey. “We are not going to be as many poll workers, because we all can’t be in there at the same time.”

Each of the county’s more than 350 poll workers will be required to wear face masks. They will be provided a kit for personal protective equipment that they must wear. They’ll also get an additional $40 a-day-hazard-pay.

“Based pay for working at the polls is $135, so the extra $40 will be included,” said Bailey. “It’s a long day; you have to be there at 5 AM, and you probably won’t get off around 8:30 PM.”

There will be four drop box locations for those who don’t want to mail their ballots. One is at the Municipal Building, and the others are at Diamond Lakes, Henry Brigham Community Center, and Warren Road Community Center. Make sure you sign your name on the ballot before dropping it off.

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