Voters head to the polls, despite heavy rain, COVID concerns

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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ7)-- Umbrellas were standard equipment for the campaign volunteers who fought the elements outside the Salem Civic Center Tuesday morning.

WDBJ7 photo

"It's been raining the whole time," said campaign volunteer Terry LaRocco, "probably not as badly as at other points this morning, but we've had a few tough spells."

Inside the civic center, the major concern was COVID-19, and the precautions election officials had implemented to reduce the danger.

They included limits on the number of people in the building, face masks and hand-sanitizer, and frequent cleaning of voting equipment.

SEE RESULTS from Tuesday's local elections in Virginia

Voters told us they appreciated the precautions.

"Very safe," said Jason Jones. "Hand-sanitizer everywhere, doing the social-distancing outside."

"We've been trying to stay safe and do the reasonable things," said Pam Overstreet.

Add the number who voted in person to those who returned absentee ballots, and election officials said Salem might see a larger turnout than the city council election two years ago.

Katherin Elam is the secretary for the Salem Electoral Board.

"It's worked. People got the message. And we're hoping that people feel that we've taken all of the precautions," Elam said.

They will put the same plans in place next month, when Virginians return to the polls for primaries on June 23.

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