Voting Booths

By Terry Harris

Surry County Registrar Sharna’ White enumerated a number of details and changes relating to the upcoming November election during the regular October meeting of the Board of Supervisors last Thursday. Included were an update on special voting procedures, a tally of votes thus far, safety precautions taken in response to COVID-19, and one change of polling place. 

“Everything has been going well thus far,” White said, after noting that the voting machines have been tested and are ready to go. “We've had positive responses from the citizens on social media and in person about how well we're doing with maintaining the COVID and as well as the voting.” 

“I wanted the citizens to know that this Surry County Registrar’s office is now open to the public from Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 4:30 to conduct all business related to the election,” she continued.  “In response to COVID, to keep everyone safe upon entering the building, we require face coverings. We have been sanitizing each booth after each voter. We only allow one voter in the office at a time. We maintain social distancing in the lines - which have been very short. We have hand sanitizer, at least, at each one, and each voter will have a one use only pen which they are allowed to take with them or discard.”

“To date we have 308 who have come in for in-person early voting since September 18,” she said, further reporting that 218 ballots already have been returned by mail and that 405 have been issued out “that are waiting for return.”

White announced that Saturday in-person early voting will be available from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. October 24 and October 31, and reminded everyone that the last day to register to vote for the November 3 election is October 13, the last day to apply for Vote by Mail is October 24, and the last day to early vote in person is October 31.

“As always, the precinct will be open on Election Day, November 3, from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., she said.

She also reported that the Mountain Eagle Baptist Church Polling place has been temporarily relocated to the Bacon’s Castle Baptist Church at 86 Bacons Castle Trail for this election and added that notices have been mailed to “a little over 1,000 voters that have been affected by this temporary change.”

“We're excited about the new changes that are coming,” she enthused, “and we are ready!”