ST. LOUIS ( -- With concerns over COVID-19, polling places around the region are taking extra precautions.

The first thing voters will notice in St. Louis County is the lack of any touch screens. Voters will be filling out a ballot with a pencil, and once a pencil has been used it will go in the “dirty” box and be sanitized before someone else uses it.

Polling booths will be sanitized after voters leave, and poll workers will also wear masks and gloves.

The county is expecting between 40 and 50 percent of the upcoming votes in the primary to be absentee. Those votes are arriving by the pile at the county election headquarters and that should reduce the number of people that actually show up in person to vote. The county is also consolidating the number of polling places

“We have a lot of safety protocols in place at polling places that should give people assurance they are going to be safe when they are in there,” said Rick Stream, Republican Director of Elections for St. Louis County. “We are requiring everyone to wear a mask. We have social distancing strips there, hand sanitizer, everything being wiped down. The pens and everything. I think we are doing everything that can possibly be done when they are inside the polling place.”

Also a change in St. Louis County this year is the fact anyone registered to vote can show up at any polling location.

That's not the case everywhere. In St. Charles and Jefferson Counties, voters must go to their designated polling location.

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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