Burnet County: Polling workers hard to find as COVID-19 continues to spread

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BURNET, Texas (KXAN) — As much of the state closes down once again because of COVID-19, polling locations are opening up for local elections, but for some counties, finding polling workers hasn’t been easy.

“Days after the March primary we would get phone calls from people that were scheduled already to work in May and they were dropping off,” said Doug Ferguson. “They were saying ‘No, we are not going to do that.'”

COVID-19 has left many voters and polling workers uneasy. Burnet County Elections Administrator Doug Ferguson says the current election was difficult to staff, but they got it done.

“It has been the weirdest year I have ever lived,” Ferguson said. “Especially in the elections career.”

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the state, Ferguson is now eyeing November’s election and the possible issues they could face with staffing.

“Every time we get to talk to one we are making notes and we are asking them, ‘Are you still interested in working in November?'” Ferguson said. “So we are starting to make notes on our list of poll workers.”

Safety is one of the biggest concerns. Burnet Mayor Crista Bromley hopes her citizens follow the CDC guidelines for the sake of those working and those voting.

“Of course it is so important to get out and vote, but to take care of yourself and others is, too, and you do that by adhering to the social distancing and wearing of the masks,” Bromley said.

Burnet County expects to see a significant increase in people voting by mail.

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