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Election 2020: Douglas County political parties prepare for election night amid pandemic

Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 4:31 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Election night watch parties will have a different look this year, both parties in Douglas County plan to be safe as they celebrate or mourn election night results, but the parties will deal with election night in different ways.

Traditionally election night is a time for huge political parties. But Douglas County democrats say this year the COVID-19 pandemic will put a stop to their large-scale celebrations.

“Really haven’t talked about it much I think it’s just intuitive for most of us, hey it’s irresponsible to get into large groups and have disdain for recommended personnel protective equipment and the likes at a gathering,” said CJ King, Douglas County Democratic Party Chair.

Douglas County Democratic Party Chair CJ King says there will likely be a smaller gathering. He points to recent events at an area high school where mass COVID-19 testing was required after a large off-campus party as a reason to pause the big political party.

“I mean what we saw what happened at Gretna High School just a couple in the last week probably show that I think it’s just common sense, there hasn’t been a lot of discussions just been kind of an assumption,” said King.

The Douglas County GOP has a different plan. They do plan to get together, but the gathering will be controlled by state COVID-19 guidelines.

“Obviously, we will follow all the DHMs that are in place so capacity will be limited to fifty percent. People will need to be sitting down and not up and mingling around, as well as masks will be required unless somebody is sitting down eating or drinking,” said Theresa Thibodeau, Douglas County Republican Chair.

Theresa Thibodeau is the chairperson of the Douglas County republican party; she says with limited space available, not everyone will have an opportunity to attend.

“Invitations will be going out, it’s a joint effort between the Bacon campaign, the Douglas County Republican Party, and the Sarpy County Republican party, and so we will all be working together to accept rsvp’s,” said Thibodeau.

Both political parties are expecting to have a good night, but the night will truly be controlled by the virus.

The Douglas County GOP says they might live stream the event or possibly look at additional sites depending on the interest.

Right now, the Douglas County democrats say there are small parties planned with social distancing and mask-wearing.

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