Local clerks prepare for elections during coronavirus pandemic
With social distancing the new normal, local elections will look a lot different next week.
Many communities have decided to postpone their local elections until August, but some are moving forward including several in Jackson County.
Those who can't vote from home will still be able to vote in person with one polling location open in each jurisdiction.
Election workers will be wearing protective equipment.
"We'll have masks, sanitizing, we're getting our sneeze guards set up and in place and we'll keep everybody six feet apart, workers and the voters," said Kerry Pickett, Leoni Township clerk.
The biggest job will be counting all the absentee ballots. They're already pouring in but can't be counted until Election Day.
"We've sent out over 3,000, and we probably have gotten half of those back now so we're waiting for people just to get them back," said Pickett.
East Jackson Community Schools is seeking a one-mill increase.
Blackman Township Public Safety is asking for a renewal of two mills.
Leoni Township Public Safety also has a renewal of 1.5 mills.
In Napoleon Township, the fire department is looking to get .75 mill. That's a new tax.
"We're doing everything we can to accommodate all the voters and make the election as smooth as possible," said Pickett.
All registered voters in places with local elections should have received an absentee ballot in the mail. They're due by 8 p.m. on May 5.
Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Shiawassee, Hillsdale, and Ionia counties will not hold local elections on May 5.