SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — On the first day of early voting, Tennesseans shattered records. More than 273,000 people voted across the state.
With the huge turnout, many are concerned about being exposed to COVID-19.
There are several safety protocols in place to keep people safe, but are they enough?
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66-year-old Lester Bailey seems to think so. He has survived three heart attacks, had open-heart surgery, and currently suffers from COPD. But he was determined to show up to vote despite the risks.
“I can still breathe, walk, and talk," Bailey said. “I was going to get my vote in.”
Thursday afternoon, Bailey walked out of the downtown polling site pleased with the safety precautions in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“There’s nothing to be worried about. Keep your mask on. They have hand sanitizer in the building,” said Bailey.
“We’re providing masks for voters, disposable pens, stylus, plexiglass shields up for poll workers and voters,” Shelby County Election Administrator Linda Phillips said.
Phillips said voters are following safety protocols and the commission has full confidence in them.
“We have been working closely with the health department to make sure that we’re using the most up to date information,” said Phillips.
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