Know the Facts about Coronavirus in our Community

Voting Safety Tips

Here are the five key ways you can stay safe while voting in person.

October 28, 2020

Voting safety tips

With early voting locations already open and election day right around the corner, preventing the spread of COVID-19 and the flu is essential to staying healthy this voting season. The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) urges voters to wear a mask, wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after touching surfaces, maintain at least six feet of distance from others, and cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.

Here are the five key ways you can stay safe while voting in person.

What to Bring

In addition to your necessary voting documents like photo identification, it’s a good idea to bring your own black ink pen, or stylus tool to use touchscreen voting machines. Bring an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean your hands after touching surfaces, and don’t forget to wear your mask.

1. Cover Your Face

Voting safely hinges on everyone wearing their mask, including poll workers. Homemade cotton face masks are most effective with two to three layers, studies show. For additional protection and if possible, wearing a face shield over a face mask is recommended.

How not to wear a mask

2. Keep your Distance

In addition to covering your face, keep your distance from others when possible. Stand at least six feet away from others at all times, even if you are in line or voting. This might be tricky when you have to interact with poll-workers, but there may be a barrier in place to protect you and them, similar to how grocery stores use barriers at check-out counters. 

3. Carry and Use Hand Sanitizer

Good hand hygiene habits are going to be important for a long time and are most important when you’re in public. You may have to touch screens, pens, paper and door handles when you vote. Many other people will likely have touched those surfaces and objects before you. Be sure to either wear gloves or immediately wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching these items. Even if poll workers are wiping down regularly, take extra precaution to practice hand hygiene as often as possible, and always avoid touching your face.

4. Vote Early in the Day & Avoid Peak Hours

Peak voting hours are typically on the weekends, and weekdays after 4pm. Voting early in the morning will reduce your likelihood of getting stuck in a line with a crowd of people. Polling sites are enforcing social distancing in lines, which helps maintain distance, but standing in a line indoors for extended periods can increase risk. You can greatly reduce risk by voting early and avoiding peak hours.

5. Vote Alone

Unless you have a disability that requires assistance or require assistance getting to and from the voting sites, people are being asked to vote alone this year. Voting alone will reduce the number of people at voting stations and reduce the likelihood of a large gathering.

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