Early voting in Shelby County begins Wednesday

Early voting begins Wednesday in Tennessee

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Early voting precincts open Wednesday in Shelby County for the 2020 presidential election. You can find a link to polling place locations and hours here.

The Shelby County Election Commission has sent out around 19,000 absentee ballots. A spokesperson for the election commission said this week they should be able to process requests for absentee ballots shortly after they come in.

While voting might look a little different this year, the presidential election is on full steam ahead.

“I strongly urge everybody to get out and vote. Do not allow fear in any form or fashion to keep you at home,” said Dr. Bruce Randolph, Shelby County health officer.

Randolph said if you’re heading to the polls to vote early or on Election Day, make sure to keep six feet or space between yourself and others voters and wear a facial covering.

How to fill out your Shelby County absentee ballot correctly for November election

The August primary was a trial run for the Shelby County Election Commission.

“The place that I voted in August, the safety measures were appropriate,” said Randolph.

Randolph said if voters feel like safety measures aren’t adequate at polling places they should let the health department know.

“We are setting up our polling places a little differently, so there is plenty of social distancing,” said Linda Phillips, administrator of Elections for Shelby County.

The county’s administrator of elections said early voting hours were extended to reduce crowding.

Election officials will be separated from the public with plexiglass shields. Voters will use disposable styli to make their choices, and there will be plenty of hand sanitizer and masks for people to wear as they vote.

The Shelby County Election Commission has already received just shy of 1,200 ballots back in the mail, representing votes that have already been cast. Those votes cannot be counted until Election Day per Tennessee state law.

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