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Stateline county clerk’s prepare for elections during a pandemic

County clerk's anticipate COVID-19 is here to stay through elections so they are drawing up...
County clerk's anticipate COVID-19 is here to stay through elections so they are drawing up plans to provide a safe environment for voters.(WIFR)
Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 4:35 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Illinois’ November elections will look much different to voters .. as local officials figure out ways to ensure citizens can safely exercise their right to vote during a pandemic.

“Never in a million years did I anticipate this,” said Laura Cook, Ogle County Clerk.

County clerk’s anticipate COVID-19 is here to stay through elections so they are drawing up plans to provide a safe environment for voters.

“Maybe have some X’s on the floor so they know where to stand so they stay 6 feet apart. I think the hardest part with election judges to try and keep them at least 6 feet apart,” Cook said.

Cook plans to review all 32 polling places to allow for voting rain or shine.

“Most of our places have a big area that they are in, some do not. It may be that they have to wait out in their car until someone leaves,” Cook said.

Cook says polling stations must be cleaned between each voter so her staff has started collecting supplies.

“I think it’s going to take a little while. Not only as an elected official but as a person we are having problems finding cleaning supplies,” Cook said.

Voters have the option to mail in a ballot But Cook says many will still plan to vote in-person.

“There’s a lot of people that are very strong and strict about it. They want to vote on election day at their polling places,” Cook said.

Lori Gummow the Winnebago County Clerk is really encouraging people to take advantage of voting from home.

“They can request a ballot be sent to their home, We are having extended hours leading up to election day. So they have plenty of options,” Gummow said.

Gummow is also looking too healthy people in the community to volunteer on election day.

“Government offices, some of the schools will be closed. So we are encouraging those students to come out and help on that particular day,” Gummow said.

Election day is November 3. If you choose to mail in your ballot it must be postmarked on or before that day.

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