Ellis County poll sites ready to go

Margaret Allen
Shane Sulzman, Ellis County Public Works employee, sets up privacy sleeves for voters to use Tuesday when they vote at the Ellis Memorial VFW Post 9139 in Ellis.

There was a small wedding party Saturday at the home of the Ellis Memorial VFW Post 9139 in Ellis.

But by mid-morning Tuesday it was set up and transformed in a matter of minutes for the statewide primary election.

Four employees from Ellis County Public Works rolled out early Monday with a U-Haul fully loaded with election supplies.

Under the guidance of Ellis County Clerk Donna Maskus, they set up the needed election equipment for Tuesday’s voting at nine polling locations throughout the county.

The first stop was the Ellis Memorial VFW Post 9139 in Ellis, the town’s only polling location.

Leo Groff, service officer for the post, was there to greet them and unlock the door. The post had sanitized the room the day before, Groff said.

“We used a fogger and fogged it with a disinfectant,” Groff said. “We just borrowed the device from the school system and then we bought the chemicals. So it’s ready for the public.”

With the county now using paper ballots, each site will have about 12 voting booths, made possible with the corrugated plastic folding privacy sleeves that sit atop tables.

Each site also has two stand-up folding booths.

Using blue painter’s tape, they marked blue Xs on the floor to show voters where to stand to maintain 6-foot social distancing while waiting to be checked in and vote.

“We are hoping people will be patient with us — with COVID-19 it will take longer,” said Maskus, who said she does expect to see some lines.

Advance voting ended at noon Monday at the Ellis County Clerk’s Office but voters can continue returning their mail-in ballots by dropping them in a U.S. Postal Service mailbox or at the secure election drop box in the alley south of the Ellis County Administrative Center, 718 Main.

The polls open Tuesday in Ellis County for all registered voters at 7 a.m. They remain open until 7 p.m.

Ellis County Public Works employee Dave Rupp looks over his checklist Monday as he and his crew wrap up setting up the polling site in Ellis at the town's Ellis Memorial VFW Post 9139 for Tuesday's primary election.