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Shelby County Election Commission prepares for elections amid COVID-19 pandemic

Local 24 News spoke with Elections Administrator Linda Phillips about what is being done.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Coronavirus is just another thing to deal with for the people working for the Shelby County Election Commission. It’s pretty much business as usual for them.

Linda Phillips is Shelby County’s Elections Administrator.

“I still have employees coming in,” she said. “We’re practicing social distancing in the office. We still have registrations to process.”

Just like normal times. Sort of.

“I’m on the statewide elections task force,” she said. “We meet regularly to discuss the options. I mean the one thing I can tell you is there will be an election on August 6th, and it will be conducted in accordance with Tennessee law.”

She’s not messing around.

The Coronavirus pandemic and quarantine has led to new issues.

Example? How about finding polling places where there will be room for voters to stand six feet apart in line.

Phillips says, “We have identified those polling places that are too small to do that, and my polling place team is pouring over Google Maps, seeing what else is nearby.”

That’s just one thing. What about all those people touching voting machines?

Phillips says, “We’ve come up with protocol for where a voter would never need to touch a voting machine. We are testing disposal styluses. We are going to do our best to keep people safe.”

The Election Commission is considered an essential service, so we are able to issue and accept petitions at both locations. However, we urge citizens who do not need to file petitions to stay home and use our online services at GoVoteTN.com.

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