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High number of absentee ballot applications expected in Boone County, Ark.

Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 4:44 PM CDT
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HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - Boone County Clerk Crystal Graddy said voting this year is going to be different on many levels.

”You have to just learn to roll with it and figure out a new way to do it, and move on,” Graddy said.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced about a month ago that you don’t have to be sick or out of town to request an absentee ballot for this upcoming election.

”Due to COVID, this year you can get an absentee for any reason,” Graddy said.

So the Boone County Election Center is planning to see many more people vote absentee than years past.

”For the last presidential, the whole election we did around 500 absentees. For this one, we’ve already done 300 applications,” Graddy said.

They expect to have around 1,000 by the time November comes around.

In Boone County, you can print out the application to get an absentee ballot online and mail it in to the center at 414 W. Central in Harrison, or get it at the center and turn it in.

Then once the request is approved, you will receive an absentee ballot in the mail when the election gets closer, and will have to mail it back with proof of identification.

“People don’t have to worry about stamps and postage to try to send it back,” the Boone County clerk said.

The absentee ballot application only applies in Boone County until the end of the year.

For people who are actually coming in to vote, the center will be doing things a bit differently."Like we're redoing the back part of the building, so that people can come in the front and exit out the back," Graddy said.

People’s hands will be sprayed with hand sanitizer, and they will be given a stylus so they don’t have to touch anything.

There will also be dividers between the voting machines.

“Hopefully we’ll keep the contact from person to person down,” Graddy said.

But this election will definitely be a lot more work for everyone involved.

”There’s a lot more as far as the office staff goes. It’s a lot more work for the voter, and it’s a lot more work for the election commission and the poll workers when it comes to counting them,” Graddy said.

The clerk said it’s best if you can turn in your absentee ballot application as soon as possible.

For more information, you can go on the Boone County clerk’s website at www.boonecountyar.com/

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