On November 3rd, Americans were able to cast their vote on Election Day. However, many voters cast their ballots through early voting. Those who voted early experienced the same process that you would if you were to vote on Election Day.
In Frederick County and across the U.S., early voting was especially useful this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Early voting allowed those trying to vote to avoid large groups of people as much as possible.
This year, there were 52,534 votes cast for president in early voting in Frederick County, which lasted from October 26th to November 2nd. On Election Day, there were 26,399 votes cast for the presidential race. Votes for president by mail tallied 60,835, which made mail-in voters the largest single voting block in Frederick County.
In total, there were 140,410 votes in Frederick County cast for president, with 75,094, or 53.1 percent cast for former Vice President Joe Biden. Incumbent President Donald Trump received 62,221, or 44 percent of votes cast. Democrats were three times as likely as Republicans to vote by mail.
Due to COVID-19, there had been certain policies that were put into place. The first policy was that masks were mandated. You need to have one to be able to vote in states that require masks to be worn indoors. Hand sanitizer was also offered to all voters, and strongly encouraged.
In order to protect the people voting, not only did the election workers wear masks, there were shields in between the voters and workers. Workers also cleaned all the pens that were used before they were reused. Election workers, like many retailers around the country have done, put spots on the floor for people to stand on in order to be six feet apart from each other in line. The voting stations were also spread out farther away from each other if the building allowed for them to be.
Early voting wait time was only about ten minutes between the different stages you needed to go through. This is a significantly shorter amount of time than most spend on Election day.
Due to my experience with voting during this pandemic, I believe that volunteers have done a fantastic job at creating and keeping a safe, clean environment in order for people to vote in. They were able to effectively keep people as far away from each other as they could. They used all the protective face wear they could, and unless they needed to be close to you, they tried to stay a respectable distance from you.