Mobile County setting new record for absentee ballot returns in 2020

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — There are still two weeks until election day, and Mobile County voters already broke a record. Probate Court Judge Don Davis said as of 8:45 Tuesday morning 12,275 absentee ballots have been returned so far. That far surpasses any election in Mobile County. The pandemic is motivating a lot of people to vote early. County officials are trying to make sure this is a safe and healthy election for voters and poll workers.

I stopped by a poll worker training at The Grounds Tuesday morning. Wearing face masks and with plenty of space between them, poll workers say they’re not worried about election day.

“I’m really not, we’ll all have on masks and the judge has assured us we’ll have every reasonable way to be secure,” said poll worker Emily Boutwell. During the last presidential election, Mobile County officials estimate they had 1,400 poll workers, this election it’s down to just 900. The reason: electronic poll notebooks reduce the need for hundreds of workers. County officials say voters will have fewer steps getting their ballot at the poll. They say the machines are funded primarily through federal dollars and could save Mobile County $300,000 in a normal two election cycle. With long lines seen already, officials are optimistic.

“We had a very safe election in July we’re replicating what we did in July,” said Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis. Davis said they had no reports of poll workers or voters who believe they contracted coronavirus at the last election day.

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