Decision 2020: Michigan Primary tomorrow

Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 5:49 PM EDT
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NILES, Mich. (WNDU) - Michigan’s primary election will take place tomorrow and it will look a bit different than primaries of the past.

“What will be different for our voters is we have a limited amount of voter stations set up due to the social distancing guidelines and all of our election inspectors will be wearing a face shield, a face mask, or sitting behind plexiglass sneeze barriers that my husband and myself have built,” said Buchanan Township Clerk Sheila Reitz.

The homemade barriers create a virtual bubble for election workers.

“We’re taking it very seriously,” Reitz stated. “As the person charged with running the election I feel a very keen sense of responsibility to protect my workers because they are potentially being exposed to everyone in our jurisdiction but I also also feel a need to protect the residents who chose to vote in person.”

In the City if Niles today, city hall was closed to the public with the lone exception of those who want to fill out or pick up an absentee ballot.

One by one absentee ballots have been piling up at local clerk’s offices. Some 760 have already been returned in Niles Alone and that’s said to be a much higher rate than in past elections.

“The increase has probably been about 50 percent,” according to Niles City Clerk Linda Casperson.

On a normal Primary Election Day, the City of Niles has four voting precincts.

On Election Day 2020 the city will have four voting precincts—we’re told finding poll workers has not been a problem.

As for voters, masks will not be mandatory although they’ll be strongly encouraged.

In Berrien County, voters cast their ballots with paper and pen.

“It is pen and paper. Each voter will be given a pen when they enter. They will take that pen throughout the voting process with them and they will either leave with that pen or they will deposit it in a container to be sanitized,” said Reitz.

The polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.

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