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Kent County Clerk tells voters public health safety protocols will be adhered at polling locations

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As voters head to the polls, Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus Lyons tells WGVU the polling locations are following public health safety protocols and is reminding everyone that absentee ballots must be returned to the local city or township where they’re registered to vote.

“It’s really important that those ballots get back. They must be received by the local clerk or deposited into their secure drop box by 8 o'clock on Election Day if they want their vote to count. There is no exception. And then the other thing I really want our voters know regarding in-person voting the polls will be open and it will be safe to vote. Our clerks are busy across the county modifying polling places to adhere to CDC guidelines and safe physical distancing. We've done a lot to encourage voters to maintain six feet, you know, separation. masks are highly encouraged. There's just going to be a whole lot of sanitary practices being done to make sure that you can exercise your vote safely on Election Day.”

Patrick Center: “I know there's been a lot of discussion when we talk about open carry and voter intimidation, it seems as though you have two laws that conflict with each other. What are you telling poll workers and what he wants voters to know when it comes to this topic?”

Lisa Posthumus Lyons: “Well, Kent County is doing everything possible to ensure citizens can vote safely and securely. We will protect everyone's Constitutional rights and we're not going to tolerate voter intimidation of any kind. The Kent County Prosecutor's Office has made it clear that they will prosecute criminal acts of voter intimidation and we've been working with the prosecutor's office to kind of clarify that and to make sure that voters know when they go to the polls on Election Day they can vote safely and they can vote securely.”

Lisa Posthumus Lyons, Kent County Clerk, thank you so much. Thank you, Patrick.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.