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Election coordinator gives update on November election preparations

Updated: Jun. 22, 2020 at 10:50 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - During Monday night’s Craighead County Quorum Court meeting, the election coordinator gave Justices of the Peace and the public an update on how the election will proceed in November.

Election Coordinator Jennifer Clack said the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office is sending the county Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the county to use.

One piece of that PPE, Clack said, will be individual styluses for voters to use to cast their ballot on the voting machines.

“Everyone gets to come and keep their stylus,” Clack said. “You’re going to get something wrapped, and no one is going to have touched it, and you’ll get to go through the whole process without touching anything.”

Right now, the plan is to have all 15 polling sites open on election day in November.

Clack said the election commission will begin staffing those centers early to make sure if anyone cannot work at their polling place in November, they will have time to find a replacement.

One thing the election commission is pushing for is for people to vote via absentee.

The county clerk’s office will be able to take those absentee ballots via a drive-thru at the Election Annex during early voting, Clack said.

For people who do not turn their ballots in at the annex, you will still be able to mail in the ballot.

Clack also detailed the process to ask for an absentee ballot.

“Your very first step will be to call the county clerk’s office, which is (870) 933-4520, and they can get you started in the process. It starts with an application that gets returned, and then they send out your packet that will have your ballot in it,” Clack said.

She also said that for people who have a family member who needs help, they can designate a bearer of the ballot. That person can get and deliver the absentee ballot to no more than two voters per election.

That person must provide a current and valid photo ID to the clerk and must sign the register when picking up and delivering the ballot.

Clack said for people voting in person, there will be a poll worker whose duty is solely to sanitize equipment between voters.

Social distancing protocols will remain in place.

Masks will not be required for voters, but they will be recommended.

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