Illinois elections continued with health safety efforts in mind

Published: Mar. 17, 2020 at 10:27 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - Despite concerns about the virus, voters in Illinois exercised their rights in the Illinois Primary on Tuesday, March 17.

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Illinois Governor JB Pritzker was adamant about going forward with the election.

“Look, we have to have our elections continue in my opinion," said Gov. Pritzker.

As of Monday, more than a thousand early voters in Jackson County have already cast their vote.

To mitigate fears, Jackson County Clerk and Recorder Frank Byrd and the election office are making efforts to protect voters at the polls.

“My highest priority is to make sure the Jackson County voters - that the elections are secure and that they are safe,” he said.

The election office worked with the Jackson County Health Department.

“Right now there are no known cases of the coronavirus in Jackson County. So I think we are relatively able to get out,” he said. “People can vote with some sense of security knowing that.”

Some of the protections as the precinct included regularly disinfecting surfaces, pens and supplying voters with cleaning products.

“I’ve made available disinfecting wipes at all the polling places, and that way people can feel a little more secure.”

The Carbondale Civic Center was closed to the public due to the coronavirus, but it was open for the primary election on Tuesday. The center was open only to voters. None of the regular in-person services were open.

Carbondale precinct 25 at Lentz Hall was closed. Those voters were moved to Carbondale Precinct 21 at Cedar Hall/Grand Apartments.

The Williamson County Clerk Amanda Barnes also said her office will have hand sanitizer at all polling places and disinfecting wipes for the judges.

Jackson County officials are limiting the number of poll-watchers allowed in the courthouse on election night to adhere to Gov. Pritzker’s social distancing recommendation.

Each established political party chairman agreed to limit poll-watchers to one per party affiliation and one per candidate.

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