Election officials have plans in place to keep you safe if you’re heading to the polls Tuesday

Safe at the polls

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -The Charlottesville and Albemarle County voter registration offices are putting numerous measures in place to keep you safe at the polls on Tuesday.

Voting on Election Day may look and feel different this year.

“Our election officers will be wearing masks, they’ll have face shields on. They’re going to be sanitizing and wiping down the polling places throughout the day,” Charlottesville’s Director of Elections Melissa Morton said.

Every voter showing up to the polls will get asked the same question.

“When you get up to the check-in station you will be asked which political party, the Democrat or the Republican Party, that you would like to have a ballot for,” Morton said.

That’s because both parties are holding primary elections this year, but you can only vote in one. Regardless of which ballot you choose, filling in the bubbles will require you to pick up a pen, so each polling location has a plan.

“We’ll have one time use pens, so they’ll only hopefully be touched by the voter, and then the voter can take that pen home with them,”Albemarle County Voter Registrar Jake Washburne said.

Both Albemarle County and Charlottesville will have the cell phone number of the voting precinct’s chief posted, so you can vote directly from your car by them.

“We’re hoping to have a greeter outside at every precinct sort of looking around to see if somebody has driven up in their car and looks like they might be wanting to vote from their car,” Washburne said.

Although preparations are underway to secure the safety of everyone heading to the polls, there’s one reason you may not see long lines this year, requests for an absentee ballot are way up.

“The most absentee ballots we ever mailed out before was for the presidential election in 2016, which was about 4,500 absentee ballots, and that’s for a big election. For this, a little old June primary, we’ve mailed out over 9,200,” Washburne said.

Polls close at 7 p.m., and you can drop off your mailed absentee ballot at your registrar’s office until then, just make sure to bring your ID.

If you don’t have one, the office will print one for you.

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