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Apparent coronavirus fears impact local election workers

Posted at 9:16 AM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 10:58:59-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Seventy-seven Kansas City polling workers have been lost in the last two days due to apparent coronavirus fears, according to Kansas City Election Board Director Shawn Kieffer.

Kieffer said that's about 10 percent of the election day workforce, but voting today should go off without a hitch.

Kansas City has 800 judges, and in a normal election they might lose about 20 people, or about three percent due to various reasons, Kieffer said.

By law, two judges must be at each polling place, and Kansas City normally has four or more, at a minimum.

Kieffer said today they will just move judges around to polling places where there's a need, and voters will not see any impact.

Finding election workers is always an issue for several reasons.

The average age of election workers in Kansas City is 75 years old, and they are required to work 14 to 15 hours, starting at 5:00 a.m., and working until after 7:00 p.m.

But, despite today's challenges, Kieffer said that voting was extremely high the first half hour the polls were open. He guessed nearly 30 percent of registered voters were at the polls.