There has been an “overwhelming response” of absentee votes for the municipal elections coming up Tuesday for South Boston Town Council, South Boston and Scottsburg mayors and Scottsburg Town Council, according to Heather Harding, county registrar.
Time is running out to get those recommended absentee votes in. Saturday is the last day to vote in-person absentee at the Halifax County Registrar’s Office in Halifax. Voters can come by from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The county also is offering curbside voting for all ages at the registrar’s office. It’s usually a service rendered to those 65 and older.
Absentee voted ballots must be returned to the Halifax County Voter Registrations and Elections Office by 7 p.m. on Tuesday to be counted.
Because of the COVID-19 concerns government officials and local officials are recommending voters vote by absentee rather than vote in-person on Election Day, and Harding said local voters are heading that advice.
Even so, she expects voter turnout to be “the normal turnout” on Tuesday. Historically, voter turnout is typically low, especially compared to General Elections in November.
Harding also said they will be taking additional measures this year to be in compliance with government and Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 precautions.
Voters and volunteers, she said, will be stationed 6 feet apart, and they will utilize one-time use pens and then take them with them.
She also said they will be cleaning between voters and limiting the number of voters in a precinct.
“We don’t have to follow the 10 person rule because it’s a government function,” Harding explained, but they do plan to do crowd control.
They also plan to offer gloves, masks and face shields, but she said they’re not required.
Hand sanitizer also will be offered for use as voters are leaving the precints.
They are not offering hand sanitizer before voting because “if any kind of moisture or residue gets on the ballot, it may not run in the machine.”
Voters will choose from six candidates running for South Boston Town Council including newcomers Tommy Elliott, Joe Chandler and Harriett Jennings Claiborne, and incumbents Tina Wyatt-Younger, who also serves as vice-mayor, Robert “Bob” Hughes and Michael Byrd. There are three open seats on council.
Mayor Ed Owens is running unopposed for another term as mayor of South Boston.
James Gordon is running unopposed for Scottsburg Mayor.
The six candidates running for five open seats on Scottsburg town council are Joe Allred III, Russell Puckett Jr., James Stoner, Connie Glass, Robert Elliott and Ronnie Myers Jr.
A photo ID is required to vote.
All in all, Harding said she is “very appreciative of those who voted by mail and early absentee.”