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City of Waco planning to hold May 2 election

City of Waco
Posted at 3:41 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 16:43:17-04

WACO, TX — The City of Waco says they are not postponing the May 2 election at this time.

"We are continually assess the COVID-19 situation and if we believe we cannot conduct a safe and fair election on May 2, we will postpone the election," City of Waco Public information Officer Larry Holze said.

The City of Waco said these are the measures they are planning to take to make the elections safe:

· The voting centers will be large rooms like the Waco Convention Center, Waco community centers, and school gyms and cafeterias, where we can ensure there is more than enough room to provide adequate social distancing between voting machines, between voters, and between poll workers and election judges;

· We will discourage our normal workers and election judges who are over 65 from working this election – we will recruit and train others who are not at high risk of serious illness from COVID-19 to work as poll workers and election judges – we have plenty of time to do this and will be beginning this process immediately.

· We will develop a safe and sanitary method of verifying voter IDs and distributing voting codes.

· We will sanitize each machine after each voter casts his or her vote on that machine.

· We urge anyone who is 65 years of age or older, or who has a sickness or physical condition that prevents the voter from appearing at a polling place without a likelihood of injuring the voter's health, to vote by mail. Any person who is at a high risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should vote by mail. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following people are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19:

• People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility

• Other high-risk conditions could include:

• People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma

• People who have serious heart conditions

• People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment

• People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] >40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk.

The City of Waco says the only option Governor Abbott has offered is postponing until November 3.

"There are a number of concerns about that, not the least of which being the uncertainty about whether the COVID-19 virus may come back in the fall and potentially be worse than it is on May 2," said Holze. "We are going to formally request that Governor Abbott allow us to postpone the election until July 14, the date of the postponed primary runoff election.

The City says it is important that we continue to have elections and transition leaders, as long as we can do so in a safe and fair manner, so that Waco can move forward with its business of serving our citizens.