FRUITLAND — A hotly contested 2020 General Election saw Fruitland residents coming together to cast their ballots on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fruitland’s election precincts combined their efforts in one location, Corpus Christi Catholic Church, to allow for social distancing amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Kendra Freitag, chief election judge for Precinct 5, the move to Corpus Christi was made because election officials needed the space Corpus Christi offered. 

“The other polling places are just too small, so they put it all here,” said Freitag. “It’s been interesting… it’s a new experience for everyone, so [voters] are coming to one location thinking they can vote anywhere, not understanding there’s a breakup of precincts.”

Each of Fruitland’s voting precincts had its own check-in station, each of which kept voter rolls corresponding to its residents.

Freitag also noted that COVID-19 has forced some older poll workers from before to not return for this election cycle.

“We have a lot of new people, new poll workers; A lot of the old-timers [are] no longer working due to COVID.”

Noteworthy is that residents were able to register in person to vote as long as they were age 18 on Election Day, as is outlined by the Secretary of State’s office.

Upon completing their ballots, voters submitted them using ballot boxes equipped with a device called a tabulator, which is used to help expedite the process of counting ballots.

“Each precinct has their own; No other precincts can vote in [each] machine,” said Freitag. “That actually at the end of the night will tell me how many is voting for President Trump … for Biden, for everything.”

Freitag expressed her gratitude to those voters who participated in person or by mail.

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