Town of Ashland enforces coronavirus safety measures during May election

Town of Ashland enforces coronavirus safety measures during May election

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Some Central Virginians headed to the polls Tuesday, despite the ongoing pandemic.

Back in April, Governor Ralph Northam recommended moving elections from May to November. The idea passed in the House but didn’t make it through the Senate.

So instead, the governor pushed May elections back from the 5th to the 19th, giving voters more of a chance to vote absentee.

Voters were also given the chance to vote curbside; all you have to do is pull up, cast your ballot, and be on your way. It’s been an option before, but now it’s the choice many are making.

“That’s what we’re encouraging is curbside voting, vote from your car as opposed to coming inside, we’re only allowing six voters in at a time,” said Teresa Smithson, Director of Elections and General Registrar, Hanover County.

Very few voters choosing to get out of their cars ad for those who did, each voting station was sanitized by a poll worker. These poll workers dressed from head to toe in PPE. Fire and EMS helping provide 600 pairs of gloves, 200 masks, 20 gowns and 10 shields for these workers. But many voters chose to just stay home.

“There were 331 absentee ballots requested, we’ve gotten back over 200 and usually it’s 30 absentee ballots,” said Smithson.

This process giving the Town of Ashland a head start for their dual primary later next month.

"This is going to let us know what our burn rate is on our PPE, how popular the curbside voting will be, will we need more people on the outside or inside, this is really going to set the standard as to how we operate in June and maybe into November.

Voters in the Town of Ashland aren’t the only ones at the polls Tuesday, towns in Cumberland, Louisa, and Appomattox counties had the chance to vote as well.

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