CDC Voting Guidelines

The CDC guidelines for voting and in-person gatherings

Last Updated June 22, 2020 on the CDC website

The virus that causes COVID-19, is mostly spread by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. Personal prevention practices (such as handwashing, staying home when sick) and environmental cleaning and disinfection are important actions election officials, poll workers, and voters can take to help lower the risk of COVID-19 spread.

  • Stay home when sick or after recent close contact with a person with COVID-19
    CDC’s criteria can help inform when you should return to normal activity:

    If they have been sick with COVID-19
    If they have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19
    If they have tested positive for COVID-19
  • Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
    Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol for use at each step in the voting process where voters interact with poll workers, after using the voting machine, and as the final step in the voting process.
  • Masks
    Masks are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult. Voters are encouraged to use masks while inside all polling locations or at indoor drop boxes. In jurisdictions where voters’ masks may need to be removed to support identification procedures, alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol should be used so voters can sanitize their hands after removing their masks. A plastic barrier between a voter and poll workers to provide additional protection.
  • Social Distancing
    Voters should be reminded upon arrival to leave space between themselves and others. Everyone is encouraged to stay at least 6 feet apart. Polling places may provide signs, or other visual cues such as floor markings, decals, or chalk marks to help voters and workers remember this.
  • Where available in your jurisdiction, offer alternative voting methods that minimize direct contact and reduce crowd size at polling locations

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