TOLEDO, Ohio — Ohioans are less than 100 days away from the 2020 election and we are beginning to get an idea of how Election Day will be changing due to COVID-19.
"Presidential years are always a little stressful and a little complicated because of the volume of voters. Certainly, at a year when you add a pandemic to it it's changed it a lot," Wood County Board of Elections Director Terry Burton said.
County Board of Elections officials are already preparing for November. Voters in most counties should expect changes. In Lucas County, precinct locations have already been adjusted to accommodate social distancing guidelines.
"Social distancing is something we definitely have to be prepared for, we have moved some of our smaller locations to mainly schools. Their gyms are normally quite large," LaVera Scott, Director of the Lucas County Board of Elections said.
Officials are expecting more voters to vote by mail this time around, as a way to avoid contact altogether. Another big concern is a lack of poll workers, as many of them are older and at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19.
"We definitely understand people being hesitant to be able to work," Scott said.
So far, out of the nearly 1,200 letters the Lucas County Board of Elections sent out to workers asking if they're comfortable coming back, about 100 have declined to come back for various reasons.
Sarah Carter is a poll worker in Lucas County who has already had COVID-19. She plans to work this coming fall because she knows how bad workers are needed.
"I know a lot of the poll workers are older, so I feel really bad they're stuck working with that so I'm trying to recruit some of my friends who are younger and probably better able to do it," Carter said.
She hopes polling locations will supply workers with the necessary amounts of PPE to keep everyone safe.
Both Lucas and Wood County Board of Elections representatives claim they will be supplying PPE to poll workers. If your polling location is changed for the upcoming election, you will be notified in the mall. You can also check online.