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Candidates prepare for upcoming run-off election amid COVID-19 concerns

As the primary run-off election July 14 nears, candidates for Franklin County revenue commissioner are doing their best to campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Veronica Copeland Stancil and Stratt Byars are the candidates on the run-off election ballot, and both said campaigning during the pandemic has been a struggle.

“At this time with campaigning, you really worry about other people and their health,” Copeland Stancil said. “Where I would normally go door-to-door, this time I feel like I haven’t been able to go out and meet as many people as I would like.”

Byars said meeting with people has been difficult and has caused most of campaigning to move to printed material and online.

“We are putting out additional signs and really doing everything we can to try and reach people,” Byars said.

Copeland Stancil said she worries about how many people will come out to vote, with the election having been pushed back several times and with the pandemic ongoing.

“I know a few people will probably be leery coming out to vote with the virus, but the precincts are working hard to make sure there are extra precautions in place for voters,” Copeland Stancil said. “If you do not feel comfortable going out to the precincts, absentee voting is available and is a great option. We just encourage everyone to get out and exercise their right to vote.”

Byars said he also expects the numbers to be lower than normal but has faith that the people of Franklin County will come support on election day.

“Most the people I have talked to have assured me they are going to do everything they can to vote,” Byars said. “We are just trying to spread the word about the election and tell everyone about the options they have to vote.”

Franklin County Probate Judge Barry Moore said each of the 24 voting precincts in Franklin County will receive protection kits for poll workers and voters. Each kit will include wipes, gloves, face masks and sanitizer for workers and sanitizing hand pumps for voters.

“We are working to make sure everyone feels safe coming out and voting,” Moore said. “We hope everyone will come out on election day.”

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