Voting Adapts To COVID-19

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JAMESTOWN — Voting in Chautauqua County is looking different than years past with new safety precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Democratic Commissioner of Elections Norm Green tells WNYNewsNow all poll sites across the county are open until 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Green says there are several new safety precautions in place because of COVID-19.

“We expect everybody to come in and to clean their hands with hand sanitizer by the door, we expect them to have a face covering, if they do not have one, we have one available to give them for them to keep,” explained Green. “Then we ask them to come in, do their voting businesses, and then move out so that we keep our places safe and free of the virus as possible.”

Green says in-person voting turnout is low, mainly because many have already voted via absentee ballot. He says there is no occupant limit at the polling site, however, they are asking voters to remain six feet apart.

In Chautauqua County, more than 28,000 absentee ballots were sent out to voters for the Democratic Presidential primary, Busti Town Council Republican primary and Libertarian Party primary.

Early voting was also previously expanded with locations at the Board of Elections office in Mayville, Chautauqua County Fair Grounds in Dunkirk and the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood.

Green says the final result of the primary elections in Chautauqua County will not be known until July 1 when absentee ballots are counted.

He says Tuesday’s primary is serving as a good test for Board of Election staff to prepare for November’s general election.


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