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Montgomery and Greene County Open for Early Voting: Risk of COVID-19 Avoided as Thousands Gather to Vote

This week is the final voting week for early voting in Tennessee. According to Montgomery County administrator of elections over 25,000 people have already cast their ballots at the sites for early voting.

“We have sheriff deputies on site. They’re patrolling the parking lot as well as patrolling in here,” said Elizabeth Black. “We have hand sanitizer stations available throughout. We have shower curtains – as lovely as they are. They do separate our entrance and our exits to try to keep people safe and we have single-use pens that we’re giving to everybody – that’s their parting gift, I guess. They can keep that so we’re not re-using those. And we’re also using popsicle sticks for them to touch the machine if they don’t want to actually touch the button.”

Greene County will also open for early voting. Both boards are open from Monday to Friday, from times 8 AM to 7 PM. Additionally, they will also be open Saturday and Sunday from 1PM to 5PM. Next Monday is the last day for early voting.

Sunday proved to be an eventful day at the Montgomery County Board of elections, with lines of people waiting for a chance to vote. Lines have reportedly wrapped around the building in this event, due to this being the first opportunity to vote since the beginning of early voting. The average wait time is anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes.

One of the challenges is people just come to the parking lot, they see the line, and they leave because they’re discouraged by it because most lines don’t move as quickly
-Black said

Voters have been encouraged to arrive early. They’ve also been encouraged to not let the intimidation of the lines get to them. Black encouraged them in many statements, to watch the lines a little before deciding to put off voting.

Despite the lines and despite the looming threat of COVID-19, neither voting poll has been cancelled and will continue to run through their scheduled courses until the early voting period ends.