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How to vote safely in person

Oct. 30, 2020—COVID-19 shouldn't stop you from exercising your right to vote. If you intend to vote in person on or before Election Day, here are 10 things you can do to lower your risk for catching or spreading the coronavirus, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

1. Check your voting location. Your usual polling place may have changed due to COVID-19 concerns.

2. Review your documents. Make sure you have everything you'll need to vote, including any necessary identification.

3. Complete a sample ballot at home. This will help you move through the voting process more quickly.

4. Bring your own supplies. This includes:

  • A mask and a spare, in case yours gets wet or dirty.
  • Tissues.
  • Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Bottled water.
  • Food in case there's a long wait.
  • A black ink pen, if needed.

5. Leave the kids at home. In a normal year, it's great to introduce kids to the voting process. But this year, it's most important to avoid bringing unnecessary people with you to the polling place, if possible.

6. Get to your polling place as safely as possible. Try to avoid crowded buses or trains. If you use public transportation, open the windows for ventilation if you can. Wear a mask. And use hand sanitizer after touching hand rails and doors.

7. Avoid crowds. Vote early, if possible—and at off-peak times, like mid-morning. If you drove, wait in the car until you can see lines are shorter.

8. Clean your hands often. Use your hand sanitizer before entering and after leaving your polling place. But do not touch electronic screens until your hands are dry. Sanitizer can damage screens. Do not wipe down any voting equipment unless you're told to do so by a poll worker.

9. Keep your distance. Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in line and at polling tables. And follow directions to enter and exit safely.

10. Wear your face mask at all times. Keep it on while in line and while voting—and make sure you're wearing it properly.

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