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COVID concerns affect June primaries

(WDBJ)
Published: Jun. 8, 2020 at 8:29 PM EDT
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When Salem voters headed to the polls for city council elections last month, they headed to the Salem Civic Center.

Now

is consolidating precincts for the Republican Senate primary June 23.

Instead of 33 polling places, the county will have five super precincts, one in each magisterial district.

Election officials are sending registered voters a postcard that will tell them where to vote.

Anna Cloeter is Roanoke County's Director of Elections.

"A lot of the precincts that we regularly use on Election Day were not yet ready to be opened to the public," Cloeter said, "and we have not been able to recruit the poll workers that we usually have working on Election Day."

Meanwhile, the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps is recruiting volunteers to serve as Infection Prevention Ambassadors, at polling places throughout the region.

They won't assist local officials with election duties, but will work to protect public health.

Mary Lou Legg is the Near Southwest Medical Reserve Corps Unit Coordinator.

"Everyone has the right to vote. We need to be able to get out there and vote. And we need to provide a space for people to feel comfortable voting, as well as a clean, safe space," Legg told WDBJ7.

And if some people remain concerned about voting in person, the Roanoke County Electoral Board strongly encourages them to vote absentee.

The deadline to request a ballot is June 16.

Or they can vote absentee in person at the registrar's office on Chestnut Street in Vinton.

Following is the text of a news release issued by the

:

COVID-19 SITUATION REQUIRES ROANOKE COUNTY

IN-PERSON POLLING CHANGES FOR JUNE 23RD PRIMARY

Due to COVID-19, Roanoke County is unable to open or adequately and safely staff all of our 33 regular polling locations for the upcoming June 23rd Republican Primary Election. As a result, the June 23rd Election will take place in five SUPER-PRECINCTS located in each of the County’s five magisterial districts. This change is TEMPORARY, has been approved by the Virginia Department of Elections, and is only anticipated to be in effect for the June 23rd Election.

Registered voters who want to participate in the June 23rd Republican Primary Election must either vote absentee OR in person at their magisterial district’s TEMPORARY SUPER-PRECINCT, which are as follows:

Catawba Magisterial District: GLENVAR MIDDLE SCHOOL 4555 Malus Drive

Hollins Magisterial District: MOUNTAIN VIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 5901 Plantation Circle

Windsor Hills Magisterial District: HIDDEN VALLEY MIDDLE SCHOOL 4902 Hidden Valley School Road

Vinton Magisterial District: WILIAM BYRD HIGH SCHOOL 2902 Washington Avenue

Cave Spring Magisterial District: HIDDEN VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL 5000 Titan Trail

Additional details about each of the TEMPORARY SUPER-PRECINCTS are listed below.

All registered voters in Roanoke County will receive a postcard informing them of their regular precinct/magisterial district assignment and their TEMPORARY SUPER-PRECINCT assignment. The Roanoke County Electoral Board urges voters to bring these cards with them to their TEMPORARY SUPER-PRECINCT on Election Day to ensure that they go to the correct polling location and simplify the check-in process. All five SUPER-PRECINCTS will be open from 6 AM to 7 PM on June 23rd.

Registered voters who do not want to vote in-person on June 23rd are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to vote absentee! There are two ways to vote absentee before Election Day:

1.VOTE ABSENTEE BY MAIL! Voters must submit a completed Virginia Absentee Ballot Application before the County Department of Elections can mail them a ballot. To submit an online request for an absentee ballot, please visit

and use “My disability or illness”/Reason Code 2A for your request. To request an absentee ballot application be mailed or emailed to you, please contact the Roanoke County Department of Elections at (540) 772-7500 or elections@roanokecountyva.gov. The deadline for the County Department of Elections to receive any mailed or emailed Virginia Absentee Ballot Applications is 5 PM on Tuesday, June 16th.

2.VOTE ABSENTEE IN PERSON! Absentee in-person voting is available from 8 AM to 4 PM Monday through Friday via curbside service at the Roanoke County Department of Elections’ new office, which is located at 900 Chestnut St. in Vinton. Voters will receive a Virginia Absentee Ballot Application to complete and will receive a ballot to vote from the safety of their car once approved. Voters interested in curbside service should call the office at 772-7500 prior to coming and upon arrival. Elections staff will bring the necessary materials out to you in your car. The County Department of Elections will offer curbside absentee in-person voting service Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 4 PM through June 19th and on Saturday, June 20th from 8 AM to 4 PM.

Again, the Roanoke County Registrar’s office is now located at 900 Chestnut St. in Vinton. It is no longer at the Roanoke County Administration Building.

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