Going Public: Cape County Clerk Talks Election Day Health and Safety Precautions During COVID-19

May 28, 2020

 

In March, Governor Mike Parson postponed the April 7 municipal elections in Missouri until June 2. 

To get the sense of how people will be able to exercise their right to vote during the COVID-19 pandemic, KRCU spoke with Cape Girardeau County Clerk Kara Clark Summers about the municipal election and the county’s efforts to help with safety next week.

In addition to putting barriers between voters and poll workers, Summers says that each voting booth will be cleaned after it’s used by a voter.

She says she expects smaller turnout for this election, since some have already cast their vote through mail-in ballots.

With the challenges of this experience, Summers says she hopes the election will give them a better understanding on how to deal with the elections coming up in August and November. 

“We’re hoping this June election also helps us to know how to better be prepared for those larger volume elections,” she says.

Though election officials have been given time to prepare with Gov. Parson’s order to move election day, she says that a lot of what happens depends on if anything new arises and causes them to have to adapt safety measures.

“If we had another large surge in positive cases, I think that would be another setback for us, that we are having to look at and prepare for,” Summers says. “The unknown is what is difficult.”

Curbside pickup is possible through their offices, she says. Judges have been trained and are ready to move forward with the election next week. Voters are encouraged to wear masks, but it will not be enforced, Summers says. 

Voter registration deadline did not change but remained March 11. Absentee voting can be done in person through June 1. The same ballot meant for the April 7 election will be used since absentee voting had begun prior to moving the election. Call the election offices at (573) 243-3547.

Sample ballots can be found at https://www.capecountyelections.com/