Poll Workers Put On Gloves and Offer Curbside Voting Due to Coronavirus Plague Fears

GLEN STUBBE/STAR TRIBUNE VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS

Voters heading to the polls in some Super Tuesday states will be met by workers wearing medical gloves and check-in tables decorated with Purell bottles, as the coronavirus outbreak collides with the presidential campaign.

John Gardner, an election official in a county just outside Sacramento said his office recently ordered about 350 large jugs of hand sanitizer from Costo to make poll workers and voters feel at ease during California’s primary.

Across the county’s roughly 100 polling places, medical gloves have been distributed to poll workers—a new practice there. As per usual, disinfecting wipes will be used to clean voting machines, he said.

Mr. Gardner’s team also added an extra curbside voting location where people can either drop off ballots or have a ballot brought to them by a poll worker.

“If you’re not wanting to be in a public space with a bunch of people, you can just stay in your car and flick the ballot out,” said Mr. Gardner, assistant registrar of voters in Solano County, Calif.

At least 43 people have been diagnosed with the novel infection within the U.S., not including repatriated Americans. But the outbreak has only recently begun to prompt adjustments on the campaign trail, as candidates continued jetting around the country and holding rallies ahead of Super Tuesday, when 14 states will weigh in on the Democratic nominating process.

In California and other Super Tuesday states, millions of people have already voted by mail. In Colorado, only 5% of voters are expected to vote in person, according to election officials there.

Jocelyn Bucaro, the director of elections in Denver, said that more people have called to inquire about how to change their vote, such as if they cast a mail-in ballot for someone who recently dropped out, than with questions about voting during the coronavirus outbreak.

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SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, Joshua Jamerson and John McCormick