Republican Chairman Yancey White says Clay County is taking every effort to ensure all 20 voting precincts will be open for the November 3rd General Election.

White made the announcement Tuesday morning following the Clay Board of Elections meeting.

“To ensure all 20 precincts are open, the Clay Fiscal Court is meeting Wednesday, September 16th at 2 p.m. to consider the final approval for the purchase of enough voting machines to allow all 20 precincts to be open,” White said.

Subject to court approval of the execution of the contract for the voting machines, the county board of elections will meet Thursday, September 17th at 10 a.m. to open all 20 precincts.

If the court approves the purchase, White says a sufficient number of Clay residents have volunteered to serve as election officers to allow all 20 precincts to operate in a normal fashion.

“The fiscal court and board of elections are doing everything within their power to ensure all precincts are open,” he said.

White and Republican Party vice-chairman Annette Morgan-White, along with board of elections member Sheriff Patrick Robinson and Janis Bowling, spearheaded the effort to obtain enough volunteers to open all county precincts.

Vice-chairman Morgan-White appeared before the board of elections on Tuesday and made a strong argument on behalf of the Republican Party that all 20 precincts should be open for the Nov. 3rd election.

Based on information supplied by Morgan-White, the board voted to await the decision of the fiscal court before submitting the plan to the state board of elections for approval.

Before Tuesday’s board of elections meeting and the new developments supplied by Morgan-White, only seven voting machines were going to be supplied to the county for seven precincts to be open on election day.

Morgan-White, on behalf of the Clay Republican Party, argued that opening only seven voting precincts would violate the constitutional right of all Clay residents to freely exercise their right to vote.  According to Morgan-White, “in light of the current pandemic, it would be safer for our residents to have all 20 precincts open which would allow for proper social-distancing in regard to the risk of COVID-19.”

The vice-chairman said allowing all the precincts to be open would be much safer, less congestion, less crowded conditions and no unnecessary wait times.

The board of election members felt the argument by Morgan-White made good common sense in light of the current conditions and would result in residents being more comfortable to cast their vote and have their voice be heard.

Chairman White contacted Karen Sellers with the state board of elections and advised her of the proposed plan to open all precincts.

According to White, Sellers applauded the efforts by Clay County to open all precincts and agreed that it provided a safer environment to allow citizens to cast their vote.

The county board of elections is scheduled to meet on Thursday, September 17th at 10 a.m. to review the fiscal court’s decision and proceed with an official plan.

Residents will be able to cast in-person voting from Oct. 13th to Nov. 2nd at the Clay County Clerk’s office also.

Residents can also request a mail-in ballot online at   Deadline to request the mail-in ballot is October 9th.

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