POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Clerk’s office has sent out nearly 2,000 absentee ballots since Friday for the 2020 Primary Election.
The election, which was postponed from May 12 to June 9, can be completed by absentee ballots now or in person on election day. Mason County Clerk Diana Cromley encourages everyone to vote through the absentee process this year to reduce the gathers at poles in June and therefore reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
All registered voters should have received a postcard with instructions for requesting and absentee ballot. If a registered voter did not receive a postcard for the application, they can go to govotewv.com or call the clerk’s office and an application will be mailed.
Cromley said they have been receiving between 200-400 ballot requests per day. They are processing as many request as they can and plan to sent 200-300 ballots per day through the mail.
“If people don’t receive them immediately, don’t be alarmed,” Cromley said. “It’s a process we have to go through. We compare the signatures and make sure we give them the correct ballots.”
The applications for an absentee ballot need to be in the clerk’s office on June 3. The ballot needs to be postmarked by June 9 and make sure it is dated with the election date. In-person early voting will be May 27 through June 6. Cromley said she was not sure if that would still be held at the courthouse.
The deadline to register to vote or update information is May 19.
“Right now, precincts will be open on June 9, according to what the governor says,” Cromley said. “So I have to carry on as if we are having an election day in person.”
Cromley sent letters to poll workers on Monday with tentative trainings scheduled for the end of May. Cromley said the governor will allow counties to reduce the minimum number of poll workers per precinct from five people to three people.
In the 2016 presidential primary, there were around 7,000 people who voted in Mason County. Cromley expects to have at least half that many vote by absentee ballot this year. If that happens, the state will allow options for reducing the number of precincts in the county. Cromley said it is still too early to make those calls on how the election will be set up.
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Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at 304-675-1333, ext. 1992.