Madison County Probate Judge prepares for general election

It's unknown how long you might have to wait to vote.

Posted: Nov 2, 2020 5:26 PM
Updated: Nov 2, 2020 6:41 PM

Across the country, record turnout is expected for the general election.

In Madison County, the probate judge says the plan for Tuesday has been nearly a year in the making.

Frank Barger, Madison County Probate Judge, said they used that time to establish the best ways to avoid problems at the polls. He said they've even added additional measures from previous elections to make sure everything goes smoothly.

"I've had several folks bring up the swollen ballot issue from 2018 when I was not managing the election. We've put several things in place. One thing specific to that election is we did not have the appropriate tech support in place to handle those issues," he said.

Barger said preventing ballots from swelling up was a major focus this year. It led to long lines at the polls 2 years ago when some ballots wouldn't feed into voting machines. He said he doesn't expect any issues like that this year, and his office made election day tech support a priority.

"For every piece of equipment we use for the election process in Madison County, we will have a representative on site that day if we need technical support related to a machine jamming, or something not functioning correctly," he said.

Barger also explained that they kept weather in mind when delivering ballots to polling precincts since humidity can cause an issue with any papers.

"We have to deliver election materials in a certain time-frame. If it's raining, that's an element we can't control, but we have looked at everything we can control, and that shouldn't be an issue on Tuesday," he said.

Barger said his office has done everything they can to make sure you're safe while casting your ballot.

"We have the PPE in place not only for the public, hand sanitizer, being able to provide masks, having an excessive number of ink pins, stylists for electronic equipment that we use. Putting all of that in place is certainly added a different element. We feel well prepared for it. We have been working for months to ensure we have all those things," he added.

Barger said he's asking everyone voting in person to be patient. He said his office is working to be as efficient as possible, but it's unclear how long you might have to wait to vote.

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