With a vast increase in early voting compared to the 2016 election, Lyon County poll workers must accommodate more voters in limited, socially distanced spaces.
“It’s encouraging,” said Tammy Vopat, Lyon County Election Officer. “The whole day has gone very well and smoothly despite the added precautions. We haven’t had any reports of electioneering or disturbances at the polls so that’s always a good thing.”
Vopat was elected as the election officer in 2008. According to Vopat this year will likely have the greatest turnout of election-day voters as well as early voters that she can remember.
“Thankfully, we haven’t been overloaded at all,” Vopat said. “(With the record high voting turnout) our staff has worked hard to handle the volume of votes.”
As poll workers set up polling locations around the county this week, Vopat said the Secretary of State’s office sent them personal protective equipment such as masks, sanitizers, and other essentials to help keep voting locations clean and accessible for voters.
“This is my second year helping out on election night,” said Megan Flack, a DMV worker. “Normally I am working next door in the motor vehicles department, but they wanted me to come over and help them.”
According to Flack the workers at polling locations have to undergo rigorous training on how to conduct themselves, especially given the added precautions that locations must take in light of Covid-19.
As the clock ticked past 7:30 p.m. workers from the William Allen White auditorium arrived with the first results and began sorting out ballots in the county clerk’s office.
“I’ve been volunteering for the last four years,” said Chad Mercer, a local elections office volunteer tasked with ensuring polling results make it into the clerk’s office safely. “I’ve always felt like it was a way I could help…normally we wait out (in front of the courthouse) and help the poll workers carry the results inside or whatever else they need us to do.”
Several volunteers fitted with “elections” vests and protective equipment stood out in front of the courthouse, answering the questions of those who passed by while awaiting polling results.
“This is my first time helping out but it’s something I wanted to do,” said Tyler Mercer, son of Chad Mercer. “My grandma helps out in the elections office and so does my dad now too…I’m really curious to see if we are going to have as big a turnout today as we have been having with the early voting.”
If you voted early and want to check the status of your ballot you can do so by visiting myvoteinfo.voteks.org.