CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - At Ardrey Kell High School you’ll find throngs of voters but also large quantities of hand sanitizer, gloves and masks.
All of it is there to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The PPE was something Mecklenburg County Board of Elections Director Michael Dickerson knew polling sites needed but wasn’t quite sure how to execute it distributing all of it.
Enter the Mecklenburg County Emergency Operations Center.
“They’ve been extremely helpful and we’re very grateful for them reaching out and making sure everything we have is good,” Dickerson said.
Emergency Management Deputy Director Wike Graham says they’re ready to help the Board of Elections with any PPE request.
“We (BOE) need PPE out here at this site and we’re like ‘we got it’ and we’re there to help out,” Graham said.
The State Board of Elections provided the PPE but it comes in such massive quantities the Charlotte Fire Department with the EOC repackages and distributes it to the 33 early voting sites and 195 election day sites.
So far more than 539,000 masks, 99,000 gloves and 700,000 disinfectant spray cans have been received.
But the EOC also serves as a command center for responding to unexpected events at polling locations.
“The EOC will also be available for us so that if we know there’s anything going on what do we need to do to fix it,” Dickerson said.
That could range from a medical emergency to power outages to unregistered poll watchers. In 2020 Graham says they’re prepared to handle anything.
“And when there’s an issue our job is to say OK this is how we’re going to fix this issue and here are the people you need to go get,” Graham said.