Metro’s older voters, election volunteers don’t appear deterred by coronavirus fears

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While high voter turnout is routinely the goal for metro election officials, running a safe and clean polling place is suddenly of primary importance for Missouri’s presidential primary on Tuesday.

Health experts have stressed the importance of protecting older populations, with more compromised immune systems, during the coronavirus outbreak.

“We have wipes that we’re sending in all of our supply boxes to all the polls,” said Corey Dillon, Jackson County Election Board director. “So our poll workers will wipe down all of the equipment, the pens and the stylus.”

Lauri Ealom, director of the Kansas City Elections Board, said the average age for local election volunteers tends to be over 70 years old.

“We have elder poll workers, so here in Kansas City we definitely want to keep our poll workers safe,” Ealom said. “We have hand sanitizer, and we have alcohol wipes for the equipment.”

Both Dillon and Ealom said they haven’t heard any concerns from the older volunteers who will run the polling locations on Tuesday.

“We really haven’t had any concerns from the poll workers,” Ealom said. “We’re really ready for that because we want everybody to be safe. We’ve had more questions from other voters, actually.”

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