Column: Primary runoff election in a time of pandemic

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Jimmy Nunn.
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BY JIMMY NUNN | Dallas County Probate Judge 

In preparing for an election, there are so many moving parts as it takes a grand effort on the part of many to conduct an election. So many citizens are asking questions as to whether the election is still going to be held on July 14 and the answer is yes. Although the virus is a major concern of ours, citizens of Dallas County should be assured that the Probate office is implementing clear safety plans to protect in person voting at the polls on July 14.  

On the day of the election, we are asking citizens to be patient with the election process and the election officials. Although there will be many precautionary measures in effect, everyone will be allowed to exercise their right to vote on election day. Since the citizens and our election officials are our top priority, these are some of the mandatory and necessary precautions to be taken on election day. 

  • All equipment at each voting precinct will be sanitized and disinfected prior to use of the same. 
  • All poll pads, pens and equipment will be disinfected and sanitized on a regularly basis during the day. 
  • Every election official will be required to wear mask and have their temperature checked. 
  • Every election official will have the option to wear face shields 
  • Every voter will be requested to wear mask, have their temperature checked and wear gloves. 
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfect wipes will be made available to all voters. 
  • Voters will be strongly requested to adhere to the 6-foot social distancing rule at each precinct. 
  • PPE’s will be provided or a voter may bring their own mask, gloves and/or sanitizer. 

However, if there is still a concern about contracting or spreading the coronavirus on election day then we encourage you to apply for and cast an absentee ballot. You may skip the lines on July 14 and cast your ballot now on the 2nd floor of the Dallas County court house, Room 219. You will be eligible to check the box on the absentee ballot application that is most applicable to you. In the case none of the boxes are appropriate, you may check the box which reads as follows: 

“I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls. [ID REQUIRED]” 

You may also mail in your absentee application along with a copy of a valid photo ID.  Applications can be picked up at the courthouse at the Absentee Election Manager’s office or you may download the application from the Secretary of State’s website.   

Voters who cast a ballot in the Primary Election may only vote in that same party’s runoff election. In addition, you will have until Monday, June 29 to register to vote and until Thursday, July 9 to submit an absentee ballot application or vote absentee in person.

If returning by hand, absentee ballots must be delivered to the Absentee Election Manager no later than the close of business Monday, July 13. If mailing, absentee ballots must be postmarked no later than Monday, July 13. 

In light of this virus, I am proud of our election team and I am completely satisfied with the clear safety plans in place to protect our citizens during the July 14 primary run-off election. If you would like to become part of our election team and serve as an election official, please call our office. Further, If the Judge of Probate or his staff can be of any assistance, rest assured that our door is open to serve you. You can reach us at (334) 876-4830. 

Jimmy Nunn is the Judge of Probate Court in Dallas County.