COVID-19 Protocols Vary Between Polling Places

Different Coronavirus Measures at CT Voting Locations

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There was light foot traffic at many polling stations across the state on primary day in Connecticut, perhaps due to concerns about coronavirus.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill assured voters that polling locations are safe. Personal protective equipment was distributed, and all locations should provide hand sanitizer and following social distancing guidelines.

Still, there were different takes on coronavirus safety protocols at locations across the state.

At the Parker Community Center polling station in the north end of Hartford, multiple protocols for coronavirus were in place.

All poll workers wore masks and face shields. There were plexiglass shields up and social distancing markers visible in multiple locations.

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The Parker Community Center in Hartford.

Things looked a bit different at the Elizabeth Green Elementary in Newington.

Polling workers were not wearing masks when an NBC Connecticut crew arrived, but put them on when voters came in.

There were no plexiglass shields or social distancing markers to be seen, though voting stations were set apart.

Elizabeth Green Elementary in Newington

A voter who came to Elizabeth Green said she felt safe.

“I go out, so like voting is, I’d rather vote in person no matter what.  I don’t trust the mail-in ballots," said Denise Roarke.

The Regan School in Waterbury had similar protocols to Newington.

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The Regan School in Waterbury

"I felt very safe they even give you your option of keeping the pencil or toss it.  You can have the option also of taking a sticker or not so I felt very safe," Eva Curry of Waterbury said.

Four months after it was originally supposed to be held, Connecticut voters went to the polls on Primary Day on Tuesday.

This year, the state gave Democrats and Republicans the option for absentee voting absentee because of COVID-19 and 300,000 people in the state took advantage of it.

But, with the overload of ballot requests, the post offices in Hartford were getting backlogged and some voters were not getting their ballots until as late as this weekend.

That combined with Tropical Storm Isaias that knocked out power to thousands is why Governor Ned Lamont allowed voters to mail their ballots. As long as they are received by Thursday, they will be counted.

While all three stations observed the protocols to varying degrees, what feels safe to you will depend on your comfort level.  If you have concerns about the general election in November, it may be a good idea to take notes on how your polling station handled things during primaries for a better idea of what you can expect.

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