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Maricopa County making coronavirus safety changes at polls ahead of August primary

They plan on opening 100 in-person voting centers around the county with a handful opening on July 8, which is 27 days before Primary Day.

PHOENIX — When you head to the polls for primary voting this August, it’s going to look a little different this year.

As voting officials try to work around the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve made a few changes to how we vote in-person and how we can track our ballots online.

The Maricopa County Election Department has laid out how primary voting will work this year. 

They plan on opening 100 in-person voting centers around the county with a handful opening on July 8, which is 27 days before Primary Day.

Over the course of July, they will open more polling places that will remain open through the voting day on August 4.

Voting centers will be opened in large venues such as empty retail shops, in every mall in the county and the Convention Center. 

Voters will be allowed to vote at any polling place this year.

Physical distancing will be emphasized, and each polling center will hand out gloves and encourage folks to wear masks, but they can’t require the use of masks.

“We cannot restrict or deny a voter from being able to cast a vote, so we will not be requiring masks for voters,” said Scott Jarrett, the Maricopa County Director of Election Day and Emergency Voting.

If voting in-person doesn’t sound like something you would want to do during the pandemic, the country is implementing a variety of early voting options.

Signing up at beballotready.vote will allow voters to track their mail-in ballots from the time they are shipped to the home until that ballot is counted in the election.

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