TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Turnout for the Tuesday, Aug. 4, primary election promises to be pretty high for a primary.
Generally, primaries are considered low turnout elections, but this year more voters asked for a vote by mail ballot than ever before, about 365,000. Days before the election, nearly 200,000 have already been returned, processed and counted.
The increase in mail in ballot requests could be because of high interest or it could be because voters want to avoid in person voting. Although, nearly a quarter million voters did not request an early ballot.
The Coronavirus has likely changed the way people choose to vote.
The 230 polling places will be staffed by ten poll workers rather than the traditional eight to accommodate the changing needs of voters.
More voters will likely request curb side drop off rather than chance going inside a polling place.
Others will probably request to vote inside their car, in which the poll worker will bring the ballot to the voter.
There will be many deep cleans of the polling place several times an hour to give voters an assurance of safety.
The poll workers will wear a mask of a shield, will ask voters to maintain social distancing inside the polling place and hand out masks to the voters who show up without one.
All voters who enter the polling place will be required to wear a face mask and if they show up without one, the poll workers will give them one.
The issues begin if the voter decides they don’t want to wear it.
Poll workers will attempt to find a way to allow the voter to cast a ballot without jeopardizing the health of others.
“Perhaps set up a voting booth elsewhere in the room that gets the person away from the general population in the polling place,” said Brad Nelson, the Elections Director for Pima County.
Nelson is also asking voters to check their polling place because it may have changed from the past election cycle.
Although most schools and churches are hosting polling places as they have in the past, some of them are not. Fraternal organizations have also opted out so changes are inevitable.
“It’s always wise idea to check where your polling place is,” Nelson said.
Polls open at 6:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.
Voters who want to cast a mail-in ballot need to take it to any polling place to drop off. It’s too late to drop in the mail.