Voter turnout in November could lead to polling location shakeups

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Nothing is certain yet, but there’s a chance voting locations, among other logistics, could change because of COVID-19 in November.

“You could see historic turnout possibly in this election. You could see 70 percent turnout. We are working to be well prepared for that in November,” said Madison County Probate Judge Frank Barger.

Large voter turnout paired with social distancing could be a problem at some polling locations. Long lines are a possibility, which is also not ideal for social distancing.

“Some of the voting locations in Madison County, if you quadruple the turnout and you have bad weather, in November, they’re going to have some angry voters,” said Jess Brown, WHNT’s political analyst.

Judge Barger says adjusting and crafting plans for November is a top priority at the state and local levels.

“We having polling locations where there are as few as 600 or 700 registered voters. Then we have some as large as 7,500 voters. We’ve got to look at each of those individually to determine if we have the capacity to manage this,” said Barger.

If a polling location is moved, Judge Barger says voters will be notified and a notice will go to the media.

Barger says the county is making sure the proper people have support in processing and gathering absentee ballots. If voters go that route, they can vote in person at the courthouse 45 days leading to the election. Barger says that may be more time-efficient for voters as we get closer to November.

WHNT will post any potential polling location/voting updates online as well as mention them on-air.

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