Masks not required to vote in Marshall County, many turn to voting absentee

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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. – Voters are coming out in droves in Marshall County, despite the growing number of COVID-19 cases.

12 deaths and nearly 2,100 positive novel coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. More than 550 of those results coming over the last two weeks.

Marshall County probate judge Andrea LeCroy told WHNT News 19 historically, runoff elections have low voter turnout.

However, she said around 560 people are voting absentee to make sure their votes count regardless of the novel coronavirus.

“We had to think outside the box than we normally do. Provide cleaning and protective supplies which was difficult to get because everyone was trying to get it,” said LeCroy.

They have 17,000 masks, 64 gallons of hand sanitizer and 5,800 sanitizing wipes to make for a safer voter environment.

“We are trying to make sure every voter feels comfortable to come in and to vote and that they can still cast their ballot but also feel like they’re in a safe environment,” explained LeCroy.

Masks are not required, but they are recommended.

“We suggest them just for the safety of our election workers  and for other voters because we don’t know if they’re in high risk categories or if they’re caring for people in high risk categories, so we’re suggesting that they wear masks but by no means will anybody be turned away from the voting location due to not wanting to wear a mask,” said LeCroy.

Deciding what to do has been tough for Marshall County voter Charles Sutphin, whose diabetes puts him in the high-risk population for becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.

“It’s a little bit concerning. With all this COVID-19 mess going on, you kind of wonder, should I or should I not, but I guess it’s our duty, so here we are,” said Sutphin.

He told WHNT News 19 he and his wife are taking the necessary precautions to keep themselves healthy.

He said he is voting in person as a force of habit.

“I never thought about doing any other way. I don’t know exactly how to do that. I know how to come down and do it this way,” said Sutphin.

He joins many others who are not voting absentee.

LeCroy told WHNT News 19 they will likely be taking the same precautions during the primary election in November.

Click here for Marshall County runoff election results.

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