Voting centers that serve Alta and Hoback will be open Election Day, a change from the August primary when both were closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re just able to space everybody out better,” Teton County Elections Senior Deputy Clerk Kellie Dickerson told the Jackson Hole Daily.
That extra bit of space was freed up by changing things in both locations, which closed because the rooms that are usually used lacked the space to accommodate voters, election judges and voting equipment with adequate social distancing.
On the west side of Teton County, the clerk’s office got the go-ahead to space voters out throughout the entire Alta branch of the Teton County Library, rather than its smaller community room.
Down Highway 89 at Hoback Junction, voting will still happen at the Teton County Weed and Pest headquarters, but in the shop rather than the usual location.
Opening the two centers means Teton County voters will have five places to vote in-person Nov. 3, up from three in the August primary.
The other three voting centers are the Teton County Library, the Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation Center, and the Old Wilson Schoolhouse Community Center.
Voting is already underway. Teton County Clerk Maureen Murphy told the Daily on Wednesday that north of 5,200 people have returned ballots, whether by voting absentee-in-person or absentee-by-mail. That’s just shy of a third of registered voters.
There was a line Wednesday afternoon at the absentee polling station in the basement of the county administration building at 200 S. Willow St., where people can vote absentee-in-person 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until Nov. 2.
Voters can also request a ballot by calling the clerk’s office at 733-4430 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ballots can be mailed in or dropped at the ballot box outside the administration building. Absentee ballots must be received by 7 p.m. Nov. 3 to be counted. Dickerson recommended using the drop box over mail as the deadline grows nearer.
She also expects a high voter turnout, potentially around 98%.
“That’s typically how generals happen,” Dickerson said. “I’m expecting we’re gonna at least double what we did for the primary, if not more. Probably way more actually.”
5,799 people cast ballots in the August primary.