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Northern California Vote Centers Stocking Up On Hand Sanitizer, Gloves Amid Coronavirus Scare

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Andrew Nixon / CapRadio
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Chris Gresen of Carmichael votes at the California Museum in Sacramento Feb. 26, 2020.

Despite concerns about coronavirus disease COVID-19, vote centers and polling places in Northern California will remain open on Super Tuesday ­­— with a little extra hand sanitizer.

In Sacramento County, an estimated 10 to 15 volunteer election workers so far have decided not to help on election day due to fears of the virus, according to Janna Haynes with the Sacramento County Voter Registration and Elections office.

“We hope that fear does not keep people from voting if they need to access a vote center,” she said. “We’re doing everything we can from our side to keep the vote centers as clean and germ-free as possible.”

Health officials are emphasizing that the virus poses a low risk to the general public. 

Still, several counties are deploying hand sanitizer to vote centers and polling places. Other counties where several cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed — including Sacramento and Solano — are also sending gloves and disinfectant wipes to vote centers. 

Elections officials are encouraging voters to rely on mail-in voting if they are concerned about being in public spaces due to the virus. Ballots can be dropped off at vote centers or drop boxes until polls close at 8 p.m. on Tuesday. They can also be postmarked on election day.

Haynes said Sacramento County voters who need to go to a vote center to update their information or get a new ballot, but feel sick and want to stay home, can fill out a form and send a proxy to a vote center to get a new ballot, which can be returned by mail.

Copyright 2020 CapRadio