Westchester County releases plans to prepare for Election Day



Westchester County Executive George Latimer released how the department plans to proceed with voting during November’s elections while complying with safety standards on July 28. This procedure, Latimer said, will be used to provide the Westchester County Board of Elections with the assistance it requires to make voting as safe as possible for residents.

By August 15th, The County will have sent each potential employee for election assistance an email describing what the parameters are and how they can help. Upon employees accepting a role as poll inspector, the Board of Elections will review each personnel file individually and enroll those they have chosen in a training program to create maximum efficiency on election day. Subsequently, the department heads will administer this training and the poll inspectors will be deployed when the time comes.

The county is also in the process of discovering new locations for polling stations, as several stations used in years prior are no longer safe according to the state safety requirements. Members of Westchester’s Board of Elections are in the process of determining which sites will require updates, which sites satisfy the regulations, and which sites are unusable. To accommodate different comfort levels of Westchester residents during Covid-19, County Director of Communications Catherine Cioffi is reportedly working with local leaders to promote early voting dates, times, and locations. Different methods will be undertaken to encourage community members to take advantage of these early voting periods.

The report goes on, stating that with a mix of voters on both earlier voting dates and November 3, the risk of spreading Covid-19 to the community reduces significantly. Promotions for early-day voting are in the process of being finalized and introduced to the public. Additionally, staff and cost estimations for overseeing both the mailing and receiving absentee mail ballots are currently underway. The county is hiring additional outside help to manage the overflow of absentee mail ballots, the ballots themselves will be overseen by Westchester County’s Director of Operations Joan McDonald. Most of these election costs will be paid by the federal CARES act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security), a sum separate from that given to the Board of Elections.

The county has already begun many of these processes, and expects these precautions to protect the citizens from exposure to Covid-19.