Local election locations allow in-person voting with adjustments due to COVID-19 concerns


ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Roanoke City held their first in-person election day since the start of the pandemic on Tuesday, but not without adding some new precautionary measures to the polls.

Election officials say that they have taken steps to ensure that the voters and election officers stay safe, such as implementing social distancing guidelines and encouraging voters to wear masks while inside the building.

Roanoke County General Registrar Anna Cloeter spoke with WFXR News about what it was like to experience the changes first-hand.

“It’s a busy day, it’s an election day and we’ve got precinct changes that we are trying to deal with as seamlessly as we can,” Cloeter says.

Election officials say that voter turnout has been low, but absentee ballot numbers have exceeded the average. 

“In 2016, we had about 2,200 voters voting. We had 80 in-person and absentee voters, [and] absentee mail ballots. For this election we’ve mailed out over 700 ballots,” says Andrew Cochran, Director of Elections and General Registrar for the City of Roanoke. 

Cochran hopes to have voting accessible for the community for the November elections, but he is not sure what it will look like quite yet. 

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