MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – This is the final week for early voting in Tennessee.
According to the Montgomery County Administrator of Elections, 25,000 people have already cast their ballots at early voting sites.
“We have sheriff deputies on site. They’re patrolling the parking lot as well as patrolling in here,” said Elizabeth Black. “We have hand sanitizer stations available throughout. We have shower curtains – as lovely as they are. They do separate our entrance and our exits to try to keep people safe and we have single-use pens that we’re giving to everybody – that’s their parting gift, I guess. They can keep that so we’re not re-using those. And we’re also using popsicle sticks for them to touch the machine if they don’t want to actually touch the button.”
She said sometimes the line looks to be wrapped around the building, but the average wait time has been 20 to 30 minutes.
“One of the challenges is people just come to the parking lot, they see the line, and they leave because they’re discouraged by it because most lines don’t move as quickly as we’ve been able to move people through so we’ve tried to get the word out on that,” Black said. “I’ll tell you, the general public has been the best way to get that out. They’ve been telling people how quick and efficient we’re trying to move things. So that’s a little hard to overcome.”
Black told News 2 voters and poll workers have been wearing masks as they join election leaders across the country in trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Obviously, there have been some poll workers that have reservations, and rightfully so… depending on everybody’s situation. But we have some absolutely amazing people that are very willing to jump in,” said Black. “We have gas masks and gowns and face shields and everything available to them to make them as comfortable as we possibly can and some of them choose to wear some of it and some of them don’t but the masks obviously are mandatory. But they’ve been amazing and to be able to get 3 thousand people through this office everyday for as many days as they’ve done it – they’re just incredible.”
She encouraged everyone to come out and vote early, and to not be discouraged if they see a line. Black advised people watch the line briefly before deciding to delay casting their vote.
“I had an email from one gentleman who said they were new from out of state and he had his two kids. He said he was concerned about the line but he wanted to vote and that’s what they set out to do that day and they got in a line and he never had a chance for his kids to get bored. And I think that’s pretty amazing,” Black recalled.
People in Montgomery county can vote early at the Election Commission in Suite 404 at 350 Pageant Lane.
- Monday, Oct 26 from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- Tuesday, Oct 27 from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, Oct 28 from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- Thursday, Oct 29 from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
CLICK HERE for information on where to vote early in your community. Early voting in Tennessee ends October 29.
This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.
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