Towns incorporate safety protocols ahead of Election Day

Voting organizers make changes ahead of Election Day

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Many towns in Central Virginia will be heading to the polls Tuesday for a number of local races but things will look quite a bit different this time around.

Elections officials are making changes to ensure sanitation as they work to limit exposure to coronavirus for both voters and those working the polls. Hanover County is even offering a new, convenient option.

In the Center of the Universe, a marquee is greeting drivers passing by. It says “Drive-up voting here”. Election officers inside will use walkie-talkies to communicate with crews outside confirming you’re eligible to vote.

"Then a ballot will be brought out to them. The voter will never have to leave their car,” said Registrar Teresa Smithson. "You’ll even keep the pen you used to mark your choice. "We’re not going to be handing a lot of stuff back and forth.”

In Ashland, voters will also have the option of going inside of the Town Center but there will be cones set six feet apart to make sure people keep their distance.

"Once they’re inside the polling place, we’ll manage only six that will be able to come in at one time…Then they’ll exit out a different door so we’re not getting crossover,” Smithson added.

Coronavirus is teaching new ways of living.

“It’s all about sanitizing everything,” including those voting machines, officials said.

"There’s a 5-minute dry time that we’ve set up a process in which one booth will be wiped down waiting to dry, while the other is utilized by the voter…The voting equipment itself where you insert your ballot, we’ll use alcohol on it,” Smithson said.

Because this is something the virus can’t stop: Your right to vote.

“This election will set the stage for how we conduct the dual primary in June on June 23.”

Louisa, Appomattox and Cumberland counties are just a few of the other counties that will join Hanover in voting Tuesday.

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