ELLSWORTH COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – The Ellsworth County Elections Office is temporarily closed due to COVID-19.

Ellsworth County Clerk Shelly Vopat tells KSN News she started having symptoms right as early voting started in the county. It was back on Oct. 14. She tested positive and was diagnosed earlier this week, and two other workers have had to quarantine.

“I figured it was better to come out and let everybody know and if that way they have any questions,” said Vopat. “Luckily, as soon as I had the very first symptom, I started wearing my mask and limiting my contact with people. I still thought it was allergies at that point, but I was being careful.”

The office shut down early voting Wednesday for the rest of the week. More than 50 residents stopped in to vote early and couldn’t.

“They’re coming in to clean this Saturday, they’re fumigating the whole courthouse, and we’ve got workers to come in and be the election board to start doing the in house voting on Tuesday,” said Vopat.

Vopat is told that she will be able to go back next week, but she has to be COVID-free and have no symptoms.

There are about 4,000 voters registered in the county, and the clerk expects records for early voting.

“I hope that people will still come in next week, and especially if they can’t go on Election Day. We were really encouraging it this year because of the coronavirus so we are hoping to keep
everyone safe and maybe not such huge gatherings at the polls.”