Coronavirus didn’t keep voters from polls Tuesday, Harris County Clerk says

Houston-area voters hit the polls for primary runoff election during the pandemic

HOUSTON – Coronavirus concerns did not keep voters from heading to the polls for the July 14 primary runoff election.

Voter turnout during the pandemic

Large crowds were not expected, officials said, because primary runoff elections are typically low turnout. But Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins all 109 polling locations were busy Tuesday.

"We've seen a lot of traffic a lot of voters interested in coming out and having their voices heard today. We take that as a compliment. I think voters feel safe and they've heard from their neighbors and friends and family that they are safe at the polls and they're able to go out and cast that vote," he said.

Safety protocols at the polls

Hollins instituted several changes to keep voters safe including mandatory masks, plexiglass separating poll workers from voters, six-feet social distancing inside and outside polling locations, finger covers to operate the machines and plenty of hand sanitizers and wipes available.

"I didn't know what the set up was going to look like at first so was a little nervous but once i went in and saw how they were really enforcing social distancing and sanitizers it was fine," said voter Renota Shepherd.

Voting by mail

Hollins reported that of the 150,000 ballots cast during the 10-day early voting period of which about half were by mail-in ballot.

If you qualify, there is still time to request a mail-in ballot for the November election.

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