Polling places to remain open with safety measures in place amid recent shutdowns

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Coronavirus cases are on the rise once again in Chemung County, some areas have been designated “orange zones” by Governor Cuomo’s Office in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

As seen in the slides above, high-risk non-essential businesses, such as hair salons, barbershops, and gyms, must shut down for 14 days. Houses of worship must go down to 33% capacity, and restaurants must switch to outdoor dining only with a 4-person maximum per table and takeout.

Polling places in Chemung County will remain open for the upcoming 2020 General Election. At the polling places, many precautions will be in place and enforced by polling place staff. The Board of Election asks all voters to wear a mask and that since there are protocols in place, voting this year may take longer than it usually does.

“We will be following the basic COVID-19 protocols, all the workers at the polling site will be wearing masks, we are asking the voters to wear masks and maintain six-foot distance between each other. It may take a little longer to go through the process, but we’d rather be safe than sorry.” Said Cindy Emmer, Democratic Election Commissioner of the Chemung County Board of Elections.

Though polling staff is not allowed to turn away anyone who refuses to wear a mask, they do have a plan in place for that very circumstance. Polling locations will be supplied with masks for anyone who happens to forget their own.

Cindy also said that they have sent out 7,850 absentee ballots so far and expect to send out more prior to the October 27th deadline. They have received back around 4,000 of those and expect to be receiving them up through election day. If you want to avoid waiting in long lines on November 3rd, it is recommended that you take advantage of absentee or early voting. Early voting begins tomorrow, October 24th at 9:00 AM, at the Chemung County Board of Elections located on South Main Street. Early voting dates and times will be as follows:

  • Saturday, October 24th from 9 AM until 2 PM
  • Sunday, October 25th from 9 AM until 2 PM
  • Monday, October 26th from 9:30 AM until 5:30 PM
  • Tuesday, October 27th from 12 PM until 8 PM
  • Wednesday, October 28th from 12 PM until 8 PM
  • Thursday, October 29th from 8 AM until 4 PM
  • Friday, October 30th from 9:30 AM until 5:30 PM
  • Saturday, October 31st from 9 AM until 2 PM
  • Sunday, November 1st from 9 AM until 2 PM

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