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Towns, cities prepare polls for in-person voting

Published: Nov. 2, 2020 at 3:49 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 3, 2020 at 5:12 AM EST
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WILLISTON, Vt. (WCAX) - If you chose to hit the polls in person on Tuesday, Election Day will look very different this year. So what are towns doing to get ready? Our Ike Bendavid went to Williston to find out.

Williston is a town of about 10,000 people that uses optical scanning machines to count votes.

Tuesday morning the polls will open and officials have already set up the process so it’s ready for voting while being socially distanced.

It is important to know that the polls will be open even though they might look a little different.

We got a sneak peek at what voting in a pandemic will look like during the primary, but as you would expect, there will be a different layout.

Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the polling place, sections taped off where you can and can not vote for social distancing, and one-way traffic will all be a part of the scene in Williston.

“I feel like we have done a lot of planning and a lot of organizing and I feel as about as ready as we can be,” said Sarah Mason, the Williston town clerk.

With so many people voting early, it’s unclear whether there will be the usual line to get in when the polls open at 7 a.m.

Mason says in Williston, they have received 70% of the ballots that were mailed to voters but new voters and same-day registration leave uncertainty on just how many people will show up to the polls.

“This is tricky. I keep wavering between we might have 500 people tomorrow or what if 2,000 people show up? So, that’s what’s causing me the most uncertainty about tomorrow is what are the numbers going to look like,” Mason said. “So, really just hoping for the best that we are adequately staffed and ready for what’s going to hit us tomorrow.”

If you filled out a mail-in ballot but have not sent it in yet, don’t do it now. Bring it to the drop-off box at the clerk’s office or your polling place.

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