FAYETTEVILLE -- Washington County election officials expect to reduce the number of polling places for the Nov. 3 general election because of a lack of poll workers and locations large enough to allow social distancing.
Jennifer Price, executive director, told the commission Friday of her plans.
"There are several places that we will have to close just because of lack of poll workers and location sizes," Price said. "Although we're starting to get more poll worker applications in, it's still not going to be enough. And, we've lost supervisors, too. It's hard to replace supervisors with brand new poll workers for a general election."
Price also said she's sorting out polling locations and finding potential alternatives in case some of the usual places are unavailable.
Price pointed to the Fayetteville Boys & Girls Club as an example. She hopes to be able to use the facility, but has a church on Wedington Drive lined up to host voting if the club isn't available. Schools and churches are often used as polling sites, but some may choose to opt out with the covid-19 pandemic, Price said.
"You have to have something on Wedington," said Election Commissioner Max Deitchler.
Election commissioners will be presented with options next week for what the general election ballot will look like. Price said she's trying to keep all 13 presidential and vice presidential candidates in one column, so as not to confuse voters.
This is the first general election with 13 pairs of candidates. The ballot is required to list the presidential candidate, the vice-presidential candidate and the party for each pair, Price said.
Another issue is where to place unopposed candidates on the ballot, which is required by law.
Price said the election is going to require a two-page ballot to fit all the candidates and issues. She said it needs to be approved by Sept. 1.
The Washington County Clerk's Office prints ballots in-house, and Price said she'd like to get the final ballot format to that office as early as possible. The deadline for delivering the ballot format is Sept. 17. Price said she'd like to have the information to the office by Sept. 14 at the latest.
Ron Wood can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NWARDW.