CDC highlights safety tips for in-person voting ahead of Election Day
Posted October 24, 2020 4:01 p.m. EDT
CNN — With Election Day less than two weeks away, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released safety tips for voters to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
There are 8.5 million cases of the virus across the United States, and more than 224,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The CDC encouraged Americans to follow basic public health measures and consider several voting options, including voting by mail. The agency also reiterated the importance of the basic preventative measures while voting in person: social distancing, mask wearing and washing hands.
Here's a more detailed look at CDC suggestions for voters:
Steps to take before voting
1. Make sure you are registered
Voters can check they are registered to vote or even register to vote here.
2. Know how you can vote
You can find out if your state allows early voting on Vote.org.
3. Know when and where you can vote
It's important to know your polling place, as there may have been changes due to Covid-19. The CDC recommends voting mid-morning, when it's typically not too busy, if you are at high risk for getting the virus.
4. Know how you're going to get to and from the polls
The CDC recommends that voters avoid ride-sharing services, buses or trains. If you have to use these means of transportation, the CDC says, be sure to wash your hands, social distance and wear a mask.
5. Have a plan for your loved ones
In previous elections, some people have brought their children to the polls so they can see voting in action. The CDC does not recommend that this year because it can increase the risk of the child getting the virus. So it is best to have someone watch the children while you're at the polls.
6. Try to limit the time you are at the polls
Filling out the registration forms before voting helps reduce the chances of getting Covid-19, the CDC says. Also, checking to see if your state has sample ballots so you can quickly fill out the real one will also help decrease delays at the polls.
Steps to take on Election Day
1. Know when you can be around others
If you've had Covid-19 or experienced symptoms, the CDC says it's important to know when you can be around others. For those guidelines, click here.
2. Bring your own supplies
At the top of the list are a mask, tissues and hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to avoid contracting or even spreading the virus. Then there's the black ink pen, water and all necessary documentation needed to vote -- identification, registration forms and sample ballots.
3. Wear a mask
If this hasn't been emphasized enough, here it is again. Be sure to cover your nose, and don't just wear it on your chin.
4. Be careful on public transportation
Again, wear a mask. You can also open windows if you need to. And avoid touching things, but use hand sanitizer if you do. And of course, social distance.
5. Wash those hands
Voters want to wash their hands before and after voting, the CDC says.
6. Social distance
Stand at least 6 feet away from other voters as much as possible.