Election Workers Ready For Early Voting As COVID-19 Numbers Continue To Rise

CHARLOTTE, NC – North Carolina is one of more than 30 states nationwide seeing covid numbers increase.  The surge has pushed the national average number of new cases to just under 50,000. 

State election workers are readying for crowds as early voting sites open later this week. 

A clear warning delivered Monday from the head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease. 

“It’s on a trajectory of getting worse and worse. And that’s the worst possible thing that can happen as we get into the cooler months,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci. 

Dr. Fauci says the possible second wave of COVID cases is imminent.

In North Carolina, nearly 1,300 new cases were reported on Monday, with 5.5% of tests positive. Hospitalizations statewide continue to be over 1,000. 

The increase in cases aligning with the start of election season. Early voting in North Carolina begins on Thursday. 

“You’re going to see social distancing. You’re going to see sneeze guards,” said Michael Dickerson, the Mecklenburg County Elections Director, “you’re going to see facemasks, face shields. All of these things, sanitizer, all of these things will be at that site.”

Dickerson says there will be regular cleaning of high touch areas. And people will be required to stay six feet apart. 

“We will have people out there sort of crowd control outside making sure everybody stays six feet,” said Dickerson.

Masks are recommended at the 33 early voting precincts.  

“I cannot require you to wear a mask, but would appreciate you would wear a mask,” said Dickerson.

He says they’re doing what they can to ensure an expected 300,000 people during the early voting period can make it to the polls and home with minimal risk of the virus. 

“So we’re going to try and cue everybody up outside. Bring them in and have a quick in and out,” explained Dickerson. 

To find an early voting polling location near you, click here.