Conway Belangia, the Greenville Elections Commission Director, said that the Presidential election next month will look similar but also somewhat different due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the main differences is that all poll workers will be wearing face masks or shields. Additionally, voters are being asked to wear face masks or shields and maintain social distancing as best as possible while voting and while waiting in line.
On top of this, the turnout in this Presidential election is expected to be very high, which will likely add to wait times at poll locations.
“Social distancing will make lines look longer than they really are, and face masks will be the order of the day,” Belangia said. “We hope to get voters processed as quickly as we can, but it is a major general election, Presidential election year, and we expect a strong turnout as we usually do.”
New legislation was also passed because of the ongoing pandemic to allow voters to acquire absentee ballots more easily to vote without having to congest in public poll locations.
Belangia said that this will alleviate some of the expected crowd, but not by an especially noticeable amount.
Absentee ballots can be acquired from your county’s Elections Commission office and either returned there directly or can be returned by mail.
In Greenville, the Elections Commission also has four satellite locations that absentee ballots can be turned directly in to. Absentee ballots must be returned to the Elections Commission by the end of the day on Election Day, November 3rd.
If you are turning in an absentee ballot by mail, Belangia said you should be sure to put your ballot in the mail by October 28th to ensure it is delivered by the end of the day on November 3rd.
However, he also said that the local postal service has been extremely diligent in past elections in making sure all ballots they receive, even on Election Day, make it back to the Elections Commission on time.
Listen to the full interview with Greenville Elections Commission Director Conway Belangia below: