ST. LOUIS — We're less than two days away from the polls opening for the primary elections in the Show-Me State.
Before you head to cast your ballot, here's what you can expect if you're voting at one of the 99 polling places in St. Louis city.
Ben Borgmeyer, the Democratic Director of the Board of Elections said there will be visual cues all around. Marks on the floor will show voters where to stand.
Clear plastic shields are up to minimize interaction.
Poll workers will be wearing masks.
As for voters, masks are strongly encouraged.
If someone doesn't bring one, the Board of Elections will have masks available.
If someone doesn't want to wear one, volunteers will ask them to wear one and offer one. If the voter still refuses, the volunteer will contact a Poll Manager.
Poll Managers will try to accommodate the voter by offering the voter options other than entering into the polling place. If the voter refuses, the Board of Elections said they cannot refuse an eligible voter the right to vote.
When voters get there, they are processed. They are required to sign in an electronic tablet called a 'poll pad' by using a stylus.
Once they are done, that voter will place the stylus in a cup. The used stylus will be sanitized and a clean stylus will be used by the next voter.
If you're voting by touch screen, they have high tech Q-Tips. Voters can use it to press the screen, so they're not touching it. From there, they can dispose of it.
When you go vote, you'll even see extra hands on deck.
"We also have student greeters who have volunteered to help who will be sanitizing surfaces that come in touch by people," Borgmeyer said.
Areas where voters fill out paper ballots will be frequently cleaned.
Hand sanitizers will be at each polling place.
Gloves are available for poll workers and any voters.
For voters who are hard of hearing and need headphones, volunteers will clean the headphones after every use. You could also bring your own set of headphones, too.
POLLING PLACE CHANGES:
- If your election notice card is white, this means your polling place is the same as previous elections
- If it's yellow, your polling location has changed
- The Board of Elections has relocated polling places out of concern for exposing those communities to COVID-19
- If you previously voted at Council Towers (a senior living facility), St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Muhammed Mosque, Skinker-DeBaliviere (community association), Heritage House (senior living facility), Booth Manor (a senior living facility), St. Agnes (a senior living facility), or Mt. Zion (a senior living facility) your polling place has changed
HOW TO PREPARE:
- Check your voting location in advance
- Make sure your voter registration information is correct prior to getting to the polling place
- Bring an acceptable form of identification with you to your polling location (a driver's license, passport, instate school I.D. card, utility bill, Election Notice Card, etc.), and make sure you are ready to show it when you get to the front of the line
- Be familiar with the candidates and issues on your ballot
- If you questions about what the ballot will look like? You can call the Board of Elections ahead of time
- You can bring your own pencil or blue or black pen
Borgmeyer wants voters to feel safe. But keep in mind, this process is new for all of us and they said to pack some patience.
Lunchtime and after work hours tend to be the busiest. Borgmeyer suggests voting early.
He also adds, if you have an absentee ballot, it is too late to mail in. But you can still bring it in person.
For anyone feeling concerned about COVID-19, there will be curbside voting at every location.
The polls will open Tuesday at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.