The Floyd County elections office staff and poll workers were back at work Tuesday after a three-day weekend break — processing applications, collecting ballots through the mail and preparing for weekend voting this Saturday.
Saturday voting will take place at the Rome Civic Center at 400 Civic Center Drive from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In-person early voting has been looking a little different this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Poll workers have set up the sole voting location to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The new set up includes only allowing 10 people in a room at a time, marked paths to make sure everyone remains 6 feet apart and administering hand sanitizer to everyone entering the precinct. The poll workers wear masks and gloves and clean each machine after it is used.
Chief Elections Clerk Robert Brady said it is going much better than he had originally anticipated.
“It’s going a whole lot quicker than I was afraid it was going to go, but everybody has been very cooperative,” Brady said.
The process is a little longer than in previous years, according to Brady, but overall it has been a smooth experience for all parties. Last week saw over 1,000 people come in and vote in person.
A few miles down the road at the elections office at 12 E. Fourth Ave., office staff has been processing mail-in ballots.
The office was getting hundreds of applications for absentee ballots a day in April and early May. Now, the office is getting more completed applications and ballots. Brady said they’re still getting around 15 applications a day.
While registered voters can apply for an absentee ballot up until next Friday, Brady recommends people send in their applications by June 2 at the latest. Election Day is June 9.
“If you apply for one on June 5, realistically, you’re not going to be able to get it to us, from us, then back to us before the following Tuesday,” Brady said.
Usually on election day, election offices process absentee ballots after the polls close at 7 p.m.
However, due to the large number of ballots this year, the state has approved an earlier start and Brady is considering it.
“We have not decided when exactly we’re going to tally them,” Brady said.
The tallying process will be announced a week ahead of time, according to the clerk.
So far, the office has received 17,931 ballot requests and processed 7,310 completed ballots.
Two secure, monitored absentee ballot drop boxes are now available for use, starting Wednesday.
One is outside the elections office and the other is outside the Rome-Floyd County Library at 205 Riverside Parkway. People can drop off their completed ballots any time until election day.
For any questions or concerns, contact Brady at 706-291-5168 or email@example.com.