HURON — As the COVID-19 virus delayed the city and county elections, ensuring the locale to host the in-person voting was safe became the highest priority.
The Madison 2-3 Center building presented the type of location that allowed for election workers to monitor those entering and exiting the building, while also ensuring all voting stations, doors, ballot boxes, etc. remained disinfected.
All this planning took place before the recent surge in positive cases throughout Beadle County. The plexiglass, masks, and extra precautions in voting didn’t seem overkill anymore - they seemed more apt.
Voters were directed outside the school gym to the proper door, according to the first letter of their last name. Once inside, they waited in line, spaced out with six feet between them, and then received their ballots in a folder that was color-coded to their voting ward from election workers who sat behind plexiglass and worked with masks and gloves as they processed the ballots.
From there, the voter completed his or her voting duty in a spaced voting station in a central area. Once the ballot was complete, the voter took their ballots to be deposited in the ballot box while an election volunteer came to the voting station with disinfecting spray and a towel to clean.
For first-time election worker Deb Lodmel, the experience has been a good one as she said, “it’s been very enjoyable. Numbers have been very steady all day.”
She repeated a line to those depositing their ballot from their color-coded folder to its corresponding color-coded ward ballot box: “You can keep the folder as a souvenir or throw it the trash on your way out!”
Asked if she’d heard anyone complaining about the increased safety precautions, Lodmel was quick to respond, “I’ve not heard one complaint for anything.”