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How to vote safely in 2020, if you have to vote in person


Here’s what to do to stay safe if you vote this year.

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Visit the WHO website for the latest updates and information on the coronavirus pandemic.

Like practically everything else in our lives, covid-19 changes how many people will vote this year. Before the presidential election in November, many Americans are worried about how they can vote, have heard their voice in the 2020 election and how they can protect against coronavirus while doing so.

Some states, such as New York, are working to expand who can vote by mail this year, in the wake of coronavirus security concerns. And while most states already allow it post-in voting (Five states, including Utah and Colorado, already vote mainly by mail), some states do not extend their guidelines to allow those concerned about COVID-19 to request a vote.

Even states that are currently hotspots for the virus, such as Mississippi and Texas, do not make it easier for all concerned voters to stay home to avoid the risk of spreading or coming into contact with the virus. This means that in these states and many others, you have to go to a polling station to vote.

If you are considering your options for voting this year, continue reading below for insight from Jason Tetro, microbiologist of The Germ Files and The Germ Code, on how safe it is to vote in person and how to minimize your risk.

Check if you can receive an email or absence

The best way to reduce the risk of getting the virus is to stay home and avoid contact with others. Knowing that some are worried about standing in line to vote and getting in touch with others at polling stations. Since you cannot control these environments, you may want to consider your other options before deciding to go to the polls.

First, check if your state allows you to request a ballot or an absentee ballot – and request it as soon as possible. Some states, such as Alabama, Ohio, and Connecticut, allow you to request an apology without an apology or have extended the permissible excuses to include concerns about COVID-19 – but again, it depends on your state. You can not request a vote one week before election day and expect it to arrive on time.


In many states, you will be able to vote by mail this year.

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Resources for determining eligibility for entry or absence

TheSkimm: TheSkimm has a voting information tool that lets you enter your country; the system will automatically pull out the state’s voting guidelines and deadlines and will give you instructions on how to request your submission or absentee ballot if you are eligible.

USA. Government: Find your state or local polling station website for more information on voting guidelines for the 2020 election.

NASS “Can I vote?”: The National Associations of State Secretaries “Can I vote?” website, you can enter your state; You will be directed to that state’s information on absenteeism voting or early voting options.

Early voting

Some states allow early voting before election day by postal ballot or personal ballot. Again, the guidelines will depend on your state, so be sure to check your state’s voting guidelines. As of April 2020, at least 40 states plus the District of Columbia allow early voting without any excuse (meaning you can request an early voting option, no questions asked).

You can see a list of states that allow early voting and access the early voting rules for each state.

To be safe at the whales

If you do not vote early or by post-vote, continue reading below for tips on how to be confident in voting in person this year.

Vote during holiday hours to avoid lines

One situation you want to avoid is getting stuck inside (where the air can not circulate well) in a line with many people. Hopefully, polling stations will force social distance in lines, which helps, but standing in a row indoors for extended periods can create risk.

“The biggest risk of spread comes as with any other respiratory virus such as the common cold and flu. It will be when you stand in a line while indoors, just like grocery stores, security at the airport and renewing your license at DMV,” says Tetro.

Preferably, polling stations will take extra measures to ensure security, such as placing obstacles between polling stations, limiting the number of people in a polling station and improving ventilation in the polling stations.

Wear your mask and social distance


Wearing a face mask and keeping your distance from the polls can help protect you from coronavirus.

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Voting security is really dependent on everyone doing their part and wearing masks – this also includes others who vote near you and the voting workers. The health service believes that this is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of the virus and keep you safe. “The key to preventing respiratory infectious diseases is the protection of the airways. Obviously, the most effective way to achieve this barrier protection is in the form of a face mask or shield,” says Tetro.

In addition to wearing a mask or shield, remember to keep your distance whenever possible. Stand at least 6 meters away from others at all times, even if you are in line or voting. This can be difficult when you have to interact with voting workers, but it is possible that there will be an obstacle to protecting them and yourself – as many grocery stores do at checkout counters.

Practice good hand hygiene

Good hand hygiene habits will be important for a long time – so be sure to practice them when you vote as well. You may need to point at screens, pens, paper and door handles when voting – and many people have probably touched them before you. Be sure to either wear gloves or wash your hands immediately and use hand sanitizer after touching these objects.

Even if poll workers dry these items regularly, you never know how often they will be cleaned, and you should stick to hygiene to protect yourself and others.

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The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goal.

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