City of Aberdeen encourages social distancing amid city elections

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ABERDEEN, Miss. (WCBI) – Polls opened in Aberdeen Tuesday as voters cast ballots in the Democratic primary for city elections.

The election has been postponed twice due to the coronavirus.

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Election officials reported good turnout with more than 100 people voting at each precinct before 11 o’clock Tuesday morning.

The Courthouse was just one of five voting precincts– one for each ward.

At the ballot box, voters would have a say in city positions like Mayor, Chief of Police, and all five Aldermen seats.

“You fix every macro issue, in the micro. For me, that’s local. You fix national government by making sure that everything runs right and is handled right by good people who understand what’s important,” said voter Justin Crosby.

“I want them to come out and vote. We want a strong presence from our citizens. Do not be afraid of the virus. Everybody should be taking precautions, but we’re also trying to do what we can to keep the citizens safe and out poll workers safe. We want you to come out and vote,” said City Clerk Jackie Benson.

There was a growing concern for elderly poll workers who made up a majority of the city’s election day volunteers.

“We’ve had a lot of poll workers that just called and said I just can’t work. I have underlying conditions, so we have a good group of people, all different age groups, and they’re just, they have face shields, they can choose to wear those or not, so I think everybody, right this minute, is protected. We’re just encouraging people to come and vote,” said Benson.

“I felt safe. You know, they had the masks, they had the gloves, they are doing everything they can to protect people when they come in today,” said voter Shirley Polk.

Most said voting, for them, was an essential task like getting groceries.

“Well, I believe we have social distancing formats in place. We use them to go into our local drug stores, we use them to go get gas, we use them to go do all these other things. This is such an important thing. If you look at what we’re doing nationally, what’s going on here locally, it’s just too important to not use those social distancing guidelines to make sure that your voice is heard,” said Crosby.

“Aberdeen please come out and vote,” said Polk.

Polls would remain open until 7 p.m. Runoff elections would be held on June 16, followed by the general election on July 7.

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