Decision 2020

‘We Want Everyone to Be Safe': Measures in Place for Election Day During Pandemic

City officials in Waltham, Massachusetts, say that precautions are being taken to keep voters safe from COVID-19

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It's a big election, and in Waltham, Massachusetts, poll workers are not taking any chances when it comes to the safety of voters.

"I feel like it's going to be safe. No issues," one man told NBC10 Boston.

This election day is forcing cites and towns to protect voters of all political stripes during the pandemic.

"I'm going to take the precautions that I need to take and wear a mask," said one voter.

Waltham is in the red zone on the map of communities at higher risk for COVID-19. There are 18 different polling places, all of which will open at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

"We want everyone to be safe. We want everybody have the opportunity to vote and we've taken every precaution to do that," said Waltham City Clerk Bob Waddick.

More than 140 poll workers have been trained and are now familiar the city's COVID-19 procedures as a result of early voting, which brought more than 6,500 people to the polls over the last two weeks.

At Watch City polling places, there will be plexiglass and clean pens. Voting stations will be sanitized, masks required and social distancing enforced. Even so, some voters are avoiding in-person balloting.

"I'm 80 and I don't want to mix up with the virus if I can help it. It's easier to do it all by mail," said one man.

More than 50% of Waltham's registered voters have already cast ballots, which should help make things easier and safer Tuesday.

"We're thinking that election day will be more like a municipal election than a typical presidential election, which will make it manageable for our folks at the polls," said Waddick.

He added that they've take every precaution to make the polls safe, so there's really no excuse not to vote.

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