Mid-Missouri counties prepare for first election during COVID-19

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COLUMBIA - When voters head to the polls for municipal elections Tuesday, things will look a little different. 

With COVID-19 still a concern, polling locations will have many safety precautions to ensure voters and poll workers are staying safe. Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon said voting will be a slightly difference experience Tuesday. 

"You will come into the polling place like you used to," Lennon said. "The poll workers will have masks or face shields on and there will be a plexiglass shield, so there will be a divider between every voter and poll worker."

Voting booths will be spread six feet apart and dividers will be used. There will also be constant cleaning. 

"We'll have poll workers making sure to wipe down the polling locations and the voting booths, and the pens in between each voter and we're taking every precaution that we can," Lennon said. 

Libby Miederhoff, who has been a poll worker for over 20 years, said she has never seen an election like this, but is confident it will be a safe experience.

"I think its going to be fine because we have enough precautions and enough protections for us and the voters," she said. 

Cole County is also taking safety precautions for the election. Clerk Steve Korsemeyer said even though they lost some poll workers because of COVID-19, they will have enough on Tuesday. 

"We saw a few people that said they didn't want to work because of the virus, their families didn't want them working," Korsemeyer said.

Cole County is also offering curbside voting for those who don't feel comfortable  entering a polling place. Curbside voting is available at every polling location in the county. 

"So if somebody is handicapped or not feeling well and don't want to walk into the polling place, they can call ahead and they can curbside vote at the polling place," Korsemeyer said.

Polls will be open Tuesday from 6 a.m to 7 p.m. To find Boone County polling places, click here. To find polling places in Cole County, click here

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