Due to the ongoing pandemic, a record number of people have cast their ballots early for the general election, but many will still head to the polls on Tuesday.
If you plan on voting in person on Election Day, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and those around you from COVID-19.
As cases spike around the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a list of tips for voters to reduce the spread of the coronavirus at the polls.
The CDC says the more prepared you are, the more you reduce your risk of getting and spreading the virus.
Bring your own supplies
The CDC recommends bringing the following with you when you head to your polling place: Necessary documentation such as your ID, a mask and back-up mask, tissues, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, water, black ink pen, and any prepared items like registration forms or sample ballots.
Wear a mask
The CDC says you should wear a mask consistently and correctly in public or if you’re around people who you don’t live with. If you must take your mask off, use hand sanitizer before and after. Having an extra mask is helpful if yours gets wet or dirty.
Note: A few people might not be able to wear a mask, because of a disability or condition.
Keep your distance from others
The CDC suggests staying at least 6 feet from other people as much as you can. That’s about two arms’ lengths. You should stay that far apart even if you’re wearing masks.
Clean your hands often
The CDC says to wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer before entering and after leaving your election site. Officials also suggest using a sanitizer after touching items that many others may have touched, such as door handles.
The CDC says not to wipe down voting equipment yourself unless you are told to do so. It could damage the equipment. Officials also say to make sure your hands are completely dry from sanitizer before touching the equipment.
Protect yourself when using transport
When using any kind of public transport, the CDC suggests wearing a mask, avoid touching things if you can and using sanitizer if you do, staying 6 feet apart from others, and open windows when possible.
To help avoid crowds, the CDC says you should try voting at non-peak times, such as mid-morning. If driving to the polls and your schedule allows, you can monitor the voter line from your vehicle and join when it’s shorter.