Poll workers adjust to unique primary election amid pandemic in Johnson County

Updated: Jun. 2, 2020 at 6:46 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Voters entered single file at the Terry Trueblood Recreation Center in Iowa City on Tuesday.

The auditor’s office didn’t anticipate large in-person voting numbers this year, as more than 25,000 people requested absentee ballots. Even still, some people like to enter their own ballot into the machine.

After each vote, poll workers wipe down the booths, machines, and door handles. This is just one of several changes to this primary election. The workers also have to wear personal protective equipment.

“Our auditor issued protective masks, shields, foot coverings, gloves, hand sanitizer like crazy,” Chuck Murphy, a roving poll place inspector, said.

Murphy said he feels safe while surveying seven precincts in Johnson County. He and other poll workers will be on call until all ballots are counted.

“I think at the end of the day, maybe it’ll show that we could have had fewer precincts, but more precincts means less voters in the precinct,” Murphy said.

Polls are open until 9 p.m.

Area law enforcement does have all precinct addresses and poll workers’ names on file. The workers are excused from any curfews while on call.

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