COVID-19 Makes Poll Workers Think Twice
By Shakailah Heard
Sept. 29, 2020
Due to the coronavirus, there will be less elderly poll workers stationed at the polls in the upcoming election and younger people stepping up to fill their positions.
Bulloch County Elections Supervisor, Pat Lanier Jones, said COVID-19 is affecting the workers, the voters and the precincts. The county had to move some locations due to new equipment and COVID-19.
Jones said she does see a difference in age when it comes to the poll workers.
“Early voting and election day have been pretty close in number in previous years. We have over 6,000 applications for ballots and over 450 back already,” Jones said.
Shana Bridges, senior lecturer in the Department of Communications of Arts, plans to be working the polls this election day.
One of the main reasons Bridges is working the polls this year is for the people who still want to vote in person out of fear that their ballot would not be counted.
“I wanted to make sure that I was contributing to helping voting take place in person, especially if there’s going to be a lot of confusion or controversy surrounding mail-in voting,” Bridges said.
This election will be Bridges’ first time working at the polling station. Bridges said knowing the pandemic is affecting people that are 60 and
Graphic by Xavier Branch
older disproportionately, she wanted to step up so in person voting would still be an option for Bulloch County.
“I feel so strongly about this election that I will put my health at risk to help at the polls,” said Bridges.
Bridges explained she will constantly use hand sanitizer and wear her mask at all times. She hopes voters wear masks when inside the polling stations.
“We can only encourage masks with early voting. We can have the plexiglass but, not sure it will work at the precincts,” Jones said.
There will be 16 polling locations open on election day in Bulloch County.