HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. – The Hamilton County Election Commission has partnered with the Hamilton County Health Department to get more voters to the polls on Election Day, November 3rd.
Hamilton County already had a record number of early voters this year, up thousands when compared to the election of 2016.
Voters who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms or are in quarantine can contact the Election Commission in advance to let them know they are coming to vote and special accommodations will be made.
For Hamilton County, the designated voting location for these individuals will be the Hamilton County Election Commission.
News Channel 9 reports that Mike Goins, the coordinator of elections in Tennessee, said they had to find some way to accommodate sick people on Election Day.
Goins said, “Nothing in the law that says if you have COVID, we can tell you you can’t come vote.”
Goins stated that under Tennessee state code, they must have special provisions in places dealing with sick individuals.
The state code requires a “Health Alert” sign displayed on the location. Outdoor voting should be made available if possible. Paper ballots and single use pens must be used.
Goins stated that the poll workers will be provided with full PPE gear, including gowns, face shields and masks in order to keep them safe from infection.
Hamilton County voters have some mixed reactions about this development:
Voter Nikki Branam says “As long as its done safely for those involved.”
“Wait what? So you’re saying if you’re positive you can come here to vote?” said voter John Darling.
“We don’t want to have folks that are COVID-19 positive in the general population with other voters, ” Goins said. “We want to make sure we protect other voters.”
All Voters in Hamilton County can expect extra signage at polling locations encouraging them to wear masks, maintain social distancing and hand sanitizer stations will be provided.
Other precautions will also be in place, like single-use pens and disposable styluses.
The State has ordered that law enforcement should be ready to respond to polling stations to offer support as needed.
The Hamilton County Election Commission can be reached HERE.