voter turnout

Poll Workers Prepare For New Protocols at Polling Places

Long-time poll worker braces for changes at polling places this election season.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Poll workers are preparing for some changes this election season, including; additional training, more days working at polling places and, of course, increased sanitization protocols.

Debbie Honeycutt, of Scripps Ranch, has been working at the polls in San Diego County for more than 20 years. “My mother was a poll worker when I was growing up, so it’s kind of her legacy. I believe in giving back to the community in that way,” said Honeycutt, “This year is going to be different.”

This time around, she’s working the polls in the middle of a pandemic and highly contentious political season.

“There’s so much suspicion and controversy behind mail-in voting,” said Honeycutt. According to San Diego County’s Registrar of Voters, 78 percent of voters are permanent mail ballot voters. The other 22% are expected to vote in person, but Honeycutt said she expects there to be more in-person voters than previous years.

“I’m assuming that there’s going to be some discussion on how to handle potential disruptions and intimidations,” said Honeycutt.

She also explained that in previous years there are typically five poll workers per polling place, but this year there will be about 14 at each location. Honeycutt said more workers will allow for more stations to accommodate voters while maintaining physical distance.

Polling places open Oct. 31through Nov. 3, but Honeycutt will be hard at work much longer.

“Two days training, one day to setup, four days to work and another day to break down things. It is exciting to be a part of that, but it’s a great responsibility too,” said Honeycutt.

Honeycutt starts training in a little less than two weeks.

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