Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

State orders require changes to local polling places

 

May 21, 2020



Many of Crook County’s registered voters will experience a change to their regular election routine this year. To comply with state orders regarding social distancing, County Clerk Linda Fritz plans to change several polling locations.

“Our goal here is to have elections as normal as possible,” said Secretary of State Ed Buchanan last week as he unveiled the directives that will alter this year’s primary and general. The idea of introducing variations on the polling places normally used, he said, is “to try to maintain social distancing and other safety protocols”.

“I’m able to keep open eight polling locations, and the eighth one was a variance I had to request from the Secretary of State,” Fritz says. That eighth location is Colony, for which the variance was granted due to its remote location.

Letters have been sent out to affected voters to notify them that the Crook County Commissioners will consider the request for changes to polling places on June 2 at 8:30 a.m. The changes are expected to be adopted at that time.

The changes would affect Sundance Inside North, Inside South and Outside, all of which will move to the gymnasium in the old elementary school – now Crook County School District’s central office – to comply with social distancing.

Beulah, Aladdin and Elmore would be moved into to the courthouse basement to comply with social distancing and also to ensure that no fewer than four election judges are present. Pine Haven would meanwhile be moved to the Vineyard Church, again for the purposes of social distancing.

The alternative locations would be used for both the primary and general elections due to the tight timeline set out in Wyoming statute, Fritz explains.

“There is not enough time to notify the voters, hold a hearing and prep ballots in time to be here for election to be able to change polling places back to normal between the primary and the general,” she says.

Secretary Buchanan reminded the public last week that absentee voting is also an option, and a directive has been issued that will allow more flexibility than usual for this style of voting. Traditionally, the absentee voting period runs for 45 days, he said, but logistically this may not be possible for some counties.

“Absentee voting is not new, it has been allowed in Wyoming for decades,” Buchanan said, assuring voters that this style of casting your ballot is safe and secure.

Educational pamphlets will be sent out from the Secretary of State’s Office to inform the voting public of their choices at this year’s election.

 
 

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