Maricopa County elections look different this year because of the pandemic, officials say

See where voting centers are in Chandler and Gilbert for the November election. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
See where voting centers are in Chandler and Gilbert for the November election. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

See where voting centers are in Chandler and Gilbert for the November election. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Due to mask mandates and social distancing efforts to halt the spread of the coronavirus, Maricopa County Elections officials said the Nov. 3 general election will look different this year; namely, there will be fewer voting centers across the county.

"Because of COVID-19, elections look different," said Megan Gilbertson, a spokesperson with Maricopa County Elections. "When considering an in-person voting option, we have to find a location that is large enough to accommodate for physical distancing. After March, we were re-evaluating what we could do to make sure voters are safe. Once we went through traditional polling locations, we found very few would be large enough. They are often small conference rooms or meeting rooms in senior centers or public buildings. The elections department felt like they needed to be much larger."

The city of Chandler has 10 voting centers that open Oct. 22, according to the election plan approved by the Maricopa County board of supervisors Sept. 16. The town of Gilbert has eight voting centers that open Oct. 22. Any registered voter can go to any of the voting centers to cast their ballot, according to Maricopa County Elections.

The voting centers include churches, malls and large meeting spaces. Gilbertson said all centers are at least 1,500 square feet.

"We were able to move locations into malls and larger convention centers and larger locations so voters could physically distance," Gilberson said. "We were also able to add more check-in stations to get voters through the process more quickly."

Poll workers will wear masks, gloves and face shields, Gilbertson said, and high-tough areas will be continuously wiped down.

"The larger location really allows us to make sure we can get voters in and out as quickly as possible," Gilbertson said. "We will be able to have up to 40 voters voting at once in some locations."

Gilbertson said a majority of voters in the August primary opted to vote early by mail or by dropping off their ballot at any location. At 94%, she said it was the highest percentage of early voting the county has seen. Voters can drop off their ballot beginning Oct. 19 at Chandler City Hall, located at 175 S. Arizona Ave.

"Voters are able to have a safe options whether that be vote by mail or vote in person," Gilbertson said. "But physical distancing really is the most important factor we can implement."


The city of Chandler headquarters is in downtown Chandler. (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Chandler ends emergency declaration issued last March due to COVID-19

Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke announced May 13 that he is rescinding the proclamation declaring the existence of a local emergency in Chandler issued March 19, 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Gilbert home values rising fast in 85298; 5 businesses coming to Chandler and more top area news

Read the top news from the past week from the Gilbert and Chandler areas.

Doug Ducey
Ducey unveils program to encourage individuals to return to work

Gov. Doug Ducey announced May 13 a three-part “Arizona Back to Work” program to incentivize residents to get off unemployment benefits and fill one of the state’s 160,000 to 180,000 open jobs.

CDC ends all mask requirements for fully vaccinated people

The guidance states fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

Doug Ducey
Gov. Ducey signs bill to trim early voter roll

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on May 11 signed into law Senate Bill 1485, which will purge the permanent early voter rolls of anyone who has not voted by mail in the previous two election cycles.

Denise McCreery, d'vine Gourmet owner, first began her business as a means to rid her home of half-consumed wine bottles her husband, a wine distributor, brought home. (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Chandler's d'Vine Gourmet set to relocate to downtown this fall

Downtown Chandler will get a new business this fall when d'Vine Gourmet relocates its store to the space occupied by Sibley's West.

Residents will have until May 2023 to obtain a Real ID. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
US Department of Homeland Security extends Real ID deadline until 2023

Drivers will have until May 2023 to get the Real ID, which will be required for adults boarding a U.S. commercial flight.

COVID-19 vaccine
Arizona children ages 12-15 can be vaccinated starting May 13

Arizona Department of Health Services officials said they are ready to administer vaccines to the state’s 400,000 children in that age group at state-run vaccination sites in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Tucson, Yuma and Flagstaff.

Susan Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. (Courtesy American Medical Association)
'I am convinced we will beat COVID': American Medical Association President Susan Bailey discusses vaccine successes, myths, challenges

Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. Much of the organization's focus during that time has been on vaccine transparency and distribution.

Several new businesses will be opening in Chandler in the next few months. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Conveyor belt sushi, wine bar and more: 5 businesses coming soon to Chandler

Several businesses will open in Chandler in the coming months including 99 Ranch Market, a revolving sushi bar and others.

Chandler USD headquarters. (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Chandler USD governing board to discuss COVID-19 mitigation plan for upcoming year at May 12 meeting

The Chandler USD governing board will discuss the district's potential COVID-19 mitigation plan for the 2021-22 school year during a meeting Wednesday, May 12, according to the board agenda.

Here are the coronavirus hospitalization data updates to know across Arizona. (Community Impact staff)
ADHS: Emergency Department visits for COVID-19 symptoms spike May 12

Take a look at the hospitalization data across Arizona.