The U.S. CDC has provided some tips on how to safely vote in-person amid COVID-19 noting the more prepared you are, the more you reduce your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. (People who are sick can follow CDC advice for when to be around others.)
There are steps you can take to help you vote and minimize your risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. The more prepared you are, the less time you may have to spend at the voting site.
When voting, you can protect yourself and others if you:
- avoid close contact: try to stay at least six feet apart of other people, especially those not wearing a mask
- wear a mask around others
- take care when touching surfaces and wash your hands often or, if not possible, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
Check that you are registered
This may increase your available voting options, and can also help you spend less time at your voting place
Check when and where you can vote
- Your place to vote may have changed from previous elections because of COVID-19
- If you are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19, plan to vote when it is not so busy, like mid-morning
- Check ahead for places or times you can vote
- Check ahead with your place to vote for options for people with disabilities
Plan how you can get to your place to vote in the safest way possible
- Try to avoid crowded ride sharing services, buses, or trains
- Protect Yourself When Using Transportation
- Some public and private transport services offer free or cheaper rides for voting
- Older people or people with disabilities may be able to get help with getting to their voting place; Check if in your area private carpool companies, volunteer organizations or your city public transportation offer these services
- If you drive and if you are able to check the voter line, join when the line is shorter
Plan for someone to take care of your loved ones
- Taking children with you to vote can increase their risk of getting COVID-19
- If you are the main caregiver at home, ask someone to watch your loved ones
- Ask this person to wear a mask if they don’t live with you
Be prepared so you can limit the time you are in your voting place
- This will help reduce risk for COVID-19 by avoiding delays when you vote
- If you can, fill in any registration forms before going to vote
- The more prepared you are, the less time you may have to spend at the voting site
- Check to see if your state has sample ballots
- To speed up voting, you can make a list or fill in a sample ballot to take with you
Bring your own supplies
Use this checklist to remember things to bring with you when you go to vote:
- Necessary documentation such as your identification (check with your voting site)
- A mask
- An extra mask
- Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Black ink pen
- Bring prepared items with you (e.g., registration forms, sample ballots)
Wear a mask
You should wear a mask consistently and correctly in public and around people who don’t live with you.
- If you must take your mask off, use hand sanitizer before and after
- Have an extra mask in case yours gets wet or dirty
Protect yourself when using transport
- Open windows if you can
- Wear a mask
- Avoid touching things if you can and use hand sanitizer if you do
- Stay six feet (about two arm lengths) apart from others if you can
Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol before entering and after leaving your place of voting
- Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol before and after touching items that many others may have touched, such as door handles
- Do not wipe down voting equipment unless you are told to do so
Keep your distance from others
- Stay at least six feet (about two arms’ lengths) from other people as much as you can
- Stay apart even if you are wearing masks
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