Jackson County begins allowing quarantined COVID-19 patients to vote Saturday

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Deadlines to request a mail-in ballot or have an absentee ballot mailed to you have passed in Missouri. So what do you if you’re immunocompromised or, worse yet, test positive for COVID-19 between now and the election?

Jackson County just resolved that problem Thursday and will host special voting hours for COVID-19 patients and others who have to quarantine because of possible exposure to the virus at election headquarters beginning Saturday.

“Oh my gosh, that would be horrible if people came down with COVID and couldn’t vote,” Robin Wormsley said.

She and her husband Don voted absentee curbside Friday, a form of voting already in place for people who are immunocompromised or have trouble with mobility. 

“I’ve had both knees replaced, hip replaced so standing in a long line is just not going to work,” Don Wormsley said.

And now the same service will be offered to people who are COVID-19 positive. Poll workers working those lines will get hospital-grade PPE. 

“We came up with it actually yesterday, and the Jackson County Health Department has been super helpful, and we’re glad we figured out a solution proactively to the challenge,” Jackson County Board of Elections Director Corey Dillon said.

On Election Day, the curbside voting at election headquarters will be reserved for people in quarantine. But anyone can still vote curbside at any Jackson County polling place Nov. 3. Poll workers will be stationed outside of polling places.

“It’s drive-thru voting, so individuals can pull up and election workers will come out, get their ID, go inside, check them in, bring their ballot out. They’ll be able to vote their ballot and then a bipartisan team will go inside and cast it for them,” Dillon said.

The special drive-thru voting hours for quarantined COVID-19 patients will be held on remaining Saturdays before the election from 1-3:30 p.m. at the Jackson County Election Board at 110 N. Liberty St. in Independence.

Anyone voting absentee can also vote curbside at the same location from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Saturdays and 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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