Tuesday is Election Day and polling places look a lot different this year. The coronavirus has completely changed the in-person voting experience. KAZU looked into what pandemic election preparedness looks like.
At a recent online Zoom training session for poll workers in Santa Cruz County, over 100 volunteers tuned in to learn about their roles during this election. Despite a concern there wouldn’t be enough poll workers, plenty of people stepped up.
As Gail Pellerin, Santa Cruz County Registrar of Voters, conducted the training session, questions popped up on the Zoom chat section that other election officials quickly answered.
The county has consolidated their voting locations this year in order to implement COVID-19 protocols. Pellerin shared what that will look like.
“The booths themselves will also be set up so they're six feet apart and physical distancing, face mask wearing,” said Pellerin.
Sanitizing is another priority.
“We're going to have special wet wipes for disinfecting the electronic equipment and different ones for surfaces,” Pellerin added.
PPE is available on site if you happen to have forgotten your mask. If you refuse to wear one there will be socially distanced options for you.
Pellerin also made it clear that if a poll worker isn’t feeling well they should stay home.
“Even though you're just like, 'this is a historical election and I need to go work.' No, you don't. If you have a fever and you are not feeling well, you need to stay home,” Pellerin said.
All these volunteers are putting these practices to the test for one last day today -- November 3, 2020.