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Grand Wayne Center hosts early voting

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) -- Indiana's primary election will be held in one week.

Some people took advantage of early in-person voting at the Grand Wayne Center where extra safety precautions are in place.

When you walk into the ballroom, you'll see a massive space set up, just in case hundreds of voters show up at once.

It's designed to give them as much distance as possible.

You'll be asked to take a glove to wear on your dominant hand to be able to sign in and then cast your ballot at the voting machine.

"I don't think there's going to be any big rush of people because I think a lot of people have elected to vote by mail, over 38,000 people. So we will have several thousand people who vote early and several thousand more who will vote on Election Day," says Allen County's election director Beth Dlug.

You'll be asked to take a glove to wear on your dominant hand to be able to sign in and then cast your ballot at the voting machine.

Wearing a mask is not a requirement but is strongly encouraged.

Poll workers are wearing cloth face coverings as well as face shields, and there are protective plexiglass shields between poll workers and voters when they sign in.

"It just makes me feel safe, for me and for everybody. We have gloves for people when they come in, and they use that on the voting thing and they use it for the voting machines. We also have hand sanitizer for them that they can use so they feel safe," poll worker Karen Kracium says.

People we spoke with were happy with the new safety precautions in place.

"I'm one gloved. That is the one thing that I wasn't expecting, but I also thought about touching the touch screen, how they were going to handle that. So being given a glove to vote makes a lot of sense," Patrick Stelte says.

"There's no problem at all. I have my, the only trouble I have with the mask is that my glasses steam up. But everything's fine. I'm glad to be able to do my responsibility," Dottie Pitser says.

When we were there, a steady trickle of people kept some of the poll workers busy, but most of the 20 voting machines were typically available and ready for voters.

If you plan to vote early you can park for free at the downtown library.

Early voting continues at the Grand Wayne Center through Friday, from 8 to 4:30, Saturday from 8 to 3, and Monday from 8 to noon.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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