Russell Co. elections officials introduce electronic polling pads, COVID-19 precautions for Nov. 3 election

Russell Co. elections officials introduce electronic polling pads, COVID-19 precautions for Nov. 3 e

PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - Russell County’s probate judge said voters should expect plenty of safety precautions at the polls in November, as well as new electronic poll pads.

“We did our homework to get prepared,” Probate Judge Alford Harden said.

According to Harden, poll workers will have masks as well as protective shields between them and the voters.

Styluses will be constantly disinfected, hand sanitizer will be readily available, and other protocol will be put in place.

“Our secrecy folders that you put your ballot into until you get to the voting machine, we’re not using them but one time,” Harden said. “It’s thrown away after that."

The newest addition to Russell County polling sites: 51 electronic poll pads spread across the 17 polling locations to check in voters on election day.

“It scans your drivers license, tells the poll worker what ballot you’re supposed to get, and you’re in and out in a minute,” Harden said.

This new technology, according to Harden, will prevent long lines and reduce the amount of time voters spend during the voting process.

“That’s going to speed the process up of the voter getting their ballot very, very quickly,” he said. “We think that once our poll workers are used to this, you’ll be able to get your ballot in under a minute."

Harden said the electronic poll pads, plus the PPE and other supplies, cost about $90,000, which is all money from the CARES Act and Help America Vote Act.

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