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COVID-19 scare doesn't stop voting in Falls County

Posted at 4:59 PM, Oct 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-26 23:45:39-04

MARLIN, TX — The Falls County Judge calms fears about the safety and convenience of voting.

It comes after a COVID scare triggered a few changes last week, but voting has resumed as normal.

As we've seen in most places, Falls County has had a heavy turnout for early voting this year.

"So we're already almost triple what we normally do for over four voting period," said Falls County Judge Jay Elliott.

That's more than 1,900 people.

But things came to a brief stop last week when an election worker reported testing positive for the coronavirus.

Judge Jay Elliott says it triggered a change out in staff and a deep cleaning of the county's early voting site.

"We found replacements for the election workers that were there, and then they went home," he said.

Elliott describes the voting area as secure, clean and safe, with voters getting masks, pens, gloves and other protective gear.

"Back in the voting area. We have a plywood plexiglass which protects the workers and the people coming in to vote," he said.

Election workers have the end of the courthouse parking lot marked with poll distance markers, which means we're not allowed to bring any cameras any closer to the courthouse.

However, we did manage to go inside the courthouse and get our eyes on the polling place from down the hall.

It is exactly as the judge described with plexiglass and plywood dividers between the vote workers and the voters, and what looked like a very clean environment at the back of the courthouse.

The situation here didn't turn out any different than similar COVID scares at polling places in Dallas County.

And for now, most counties continue to offer "drive through voting" for people too frail to walk into a polling place.

”We didn't close down voting, or make it drive through only, no one had missed a beat when it came to voting," said Judge Elliott.

Meanwhile, the doctor for the worker who tested positive says he believes the test to show a false positive.

Still, election workers got tested last Thursday and again Sunday.

The results?

"Came back negative both Thursday and Sunday," said the County Judge.

Elliott says Falls County protected the vote, the vote workers and especially the voters.