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Polling locations and an added focus on safety

Published: Nov. 3, 2020 at 9:54 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - People in the Tri-Cities cast their ballots in one of the most unique presidential elections in history on Tuesday, and despite being in a global pandemic, there was a steady flow of people who voted in-person.

“I think we’ve had a good turnout,” said Steve Lamken, poll worker at Peace Lutheran Church. “I mean up till past 11 we were backed up with people waiting to vote from the minute we opened the doors.”

It was a lot of work for poll workers to keep everyone safe, but they said voters were very cooperative in following the safety rules.

“It makes you feel comfortable, you know even with that many people, and people are trying to keep some distance among themselves,” Lamken said.

Workers made sure surfaces were sanitized like doors, ballot sleeves, and tables. They also gave everyone their own pen, and voters could either keep it or give it back to the workers to be cleaned.

“I think it’s been going great,” Lamken said. “The poll workers are all wearing masks of course, but I’d say more than 95% of people that have come through the door have their mask on.”

Voters who’ve participated in previous elections said casting their ballot during the Coronavirus pandemic hasn’t been much different.

“I think they handled it in a good way," Joseph R. Kovarik said. "Obviously everybody had their own pen, they gave us a pen, I mean which is not a big deal, but it’s sanitary. I think it went well.”

Kovarik voted in-person to make sure there was no interference with his vote.

“I was going to do the early voting, and then I decided I’m just going to come in-person, that way I know for sure the mail doesn’t mess up or whatever, and my votes going to count.”

Kovarik is glad the election has finally ended.

“I’m glad it’s done,” Kovarik said. “I hope everything goes good, but I’m glad it’s over.”

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