Help Reduce the Spread of COVID-19 On Election Day in Your Precinct
Efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been successful in some parts of the country, but the risk of infection from the virus isn’t going away anytime soon. Voters standing close together and handling the same pieces of equipment make for a potential hot bed of virus transmission. Your precincts should be prepared to handle elections differently this year, and potentially beyond, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These are steps you can take to mitigate the risk for voters and election workers.
The CDC recommends social distancing of 6 feet or more between individuals. Begin social distancing and crowd control measures outside of the building where lines form. Keep lines organized with chain and post barriers. Use a distance measuring tool to measure 6 foot spaces along the route of entry. Use floor decals, traffic cones, or other markers so voters know where to stop and stand as they progress through the line. If 6 feet is not feasible, do what you can to keep individuals as far apart as possible. A one-way flow through the building or voting area is also recommended. For example, specific doors for entering and exiting and limiting the amount of backtracking during the voting process.
Inside the Voting Area
Provide a hand sanitizing station and paper facemasks for all persons upon entering the building and before they interact with any election workers. Local rules and regulations regarding face coverings should be followed. Make hand sanitizer available throughout the voting area and continuously disinfect machines and equipment, as well as other heavily touched surfaces including tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.
Space the voting booths or tables according to social distancing recommendations. In addition to privacy screens, consider adding curtain dividers where visitors may not be able to social distance. Since we vote in our community, it’s not uncommon to run into neighbors and friends at our voting locations. However, voters and workers should be discouraged from greeting each other with physical contacts, such as handshakes or hugs.
Signage helps direct people and communicate expectations. Include signage about using the hand sanitizer stations, facemask requirements, and social distancing protocols, including limiting physical contact with other visitors.
If possible, provide a health screening check for workers entering the building and urge workers to stay home if they have a fever, respiratory symptoms or are feeling sick. Ensure all workers have facemasks, access to hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes for surfaces and equipment. Workers can also use rubber fingers when operating touch screens and other equipment. Check with your election equipment supplier about the proper cleaning solution for your equipment. Implement sneeze guards between workers who are stationed at desks.
Communicate to the Community Before Voting Day
Encourage voters to attend their polling location during off-peak times. Ask the community and election workers to limit non-essential visitors, such as bringing their children, if possible. Educate the community on the protocols that will be in place at their polling locations prior to the vote so they know what to expect.
Protected and well-informed community members will make for a less stressful voting experience. ElectionSource can help you determine which election supplies and voting equipment you need for a successful election in your precinct.
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*Disclaimer: The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute official advice or requirements; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Follow your local guidelines and requirements for COVID-19 prevention. Any action you take upon the information on this website is strictly at your own risk.