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COVID-19 creates need for poll workers

Ballot preparations underway for Nov. 3 election

Photo by Jeri Borst

Polk County Clerk Terri Harrison, left, records ballot positions as drawn by Election Commissioners Laden Coplin and David Gray Monday, Aug. 24.

By Jeri Borst

Changes to some polling locations will change as a result of meeting social distancing measures, which are required by the state as part of the governor’s mandate for COVID-19 precautions.

Polk County Clerk Terri Harrison said one poll location will be eliminated in town, resulting in Mena’s poll locations being moved from the old hospital building to the armory on DeQueen Street and from the 9th Street Ministries building to the fellowship hall at First Baptist Church.

Acorn’s polling station will be moved from the high school to the American Legion Building, so as to not interfere with the schools guidelines on reducing risk on campus.

Hatfield’s polling location will be moved from City Hall to the old high school auditorium, owned by Kenny Miller.

Cove and Grannis poll locations will remain unchanged and Wickes polling location at the Senior Center is pending approval.

In addition to COVID19 effecting polling places, many of the staple poll workers are unable to volunteer because they fall in the 65 and older demographic or are at high risk because of a medical condition.

“A large number are concerned about working and many have health issues and are scared they will get sick,” Harrison said, noting a majority of poll workers are elderly.

Though Harrison told election commissioners there are currently enough volunteers to work poll, additional volunteers would be beneficial.

“Right now we do not have any extra poll workers,” Harrison said. “If more do not volunteer, we will be working short handed.”

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be provided to all poll workers and will include mask, gloves, sanitizer and sneeze/cough guards.

Polk county Sheriff Scott Sawyer has offered the use of reserve deputies to help ensure social distancing and sanitation at poll locations.

Harrison encouraged those who are in high risk categories to apply for an absentee ballot sooner rather than later.

“There has already been a large number of applications for mail in ballots. We have already exceeded what we normally do,” Harrison said, noting the deadline for request is the Tuesday before the election.

“Even though the election is still several weeks away, we are working very hard in the County Clerk’s Office making preparations,” Harrison said.

Early voting begins Oct. 19 for the November General Election.

If you are interested in volunteering as a poll worker or to request a mail in ballot application, contact the   County Clerk’s Office.

Harrison reminded voters that if they have moved or had a name change since
the last time they voted, to check your voter registration at or you can always call the County Clerk’s Office at 479-394-8123.

“If you have any other questions about your voter registration or the election in general please call our office and don’t depend on social media for your information,” Harrison said. “We are happy to help answer your questions or concerns.”

The ballot positions drawn are as follows:

U.S. President/Vice President

Brian Carroll/Amar Patel                            2

Don Blankenship/William Mohr              11

Joseph R. Biden/Kamala Harris                6

Howie Hawkins/Angela Walker                 8

Brock Pierce/Karla Ballard                          7

C.l. Gammon/Phil Collins                          10

Kanye West/Michelle Tidball                     4

Phil Collins/Billy Joe Parker                       1

Roque “Rocky” De La Fuenta/

Darcy G. Richardson                                   12

Jo Jorgensen/Jeremy “Spike” Cohen      13

John Richard Myers/

Tiara Suzanne Lusk                                       5

Donald J. Trump/

Michael R. Pence                                           9

Gloria La Riva/Sunil Freeman                   3

U.S. Senate

Ricky Dale Harrington, Jr.                         2

Senator Tom Cotton                                     1

U.S. Congress District 4

William H. Hanson                                      3

Frank Gilbert                                                 2

Rep. Bruce Westerman                                1

JP District 3

Harold Coogan                                              2

Levi Ellison                                                    1

JP District 5

Russell Scott Kiersey                                    2

Troy Lunsford                                                1

Constable — Eagle Township

Ray Hagler                                                      2

Jimmy Titsworth                                           1

Constable – Potter Township

James Richardson                                         1

Eddie Price                                                     2

Mena Council Member

Ward 3 Position 2

Larry Stewart                                                 1

Edwin Gibson                                                2

Hatfield Council Member,

Position 1

Paige Self                                                       2

Diane Osborne                                              1

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