Exercise your right to vote safely.
UPDATED Nov. 3, 2020 — 6 a.m. EST
At least 98.9 million Americans already cast their ballots and the number is growing, with Election Day finally here. According to The Dr. Oz Show’s online poll, anxiety around voting in person is on the rise. When asked what most people were worried about, germs took the lead over social distancing and proper ventilation.
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Don’t let fear get in the way of exercising your right to vote. Some states have options of voting by mail, dropping off your ballot to a ballot drop box near you, or going in person early or on Election Day. Because of COVID-19 safety concerns, polling places across the country will be disinfecting as much as possible, and social distancing measures will be in place. Additionally, The Dr. Oz Show medical unit came up with five ways to protect yourself if you’re voting in person. Print out the sheet at the end of send it to a friend so they can feel a little bit safer voting in person this year.
Wear A Mask
Choose a KN95 or multilayer surgical mask. Studies prove that a multi-layer mask is more effective in preventing particles from being spread than a single layer one. If you’re high risk for COVID-19, consider adding a face shield for additional protection.
Vote at An Off-Peak Time
Research your election day polling place through local apps like Nextdoor to find out how crowded they are at any given time and go to vote at an off-peak time. According to Sharecare, mid-morning may be less crowded. Also, pay attention to what time the polls open. During the early voting period, times may vary day to day.
Bring Your Own Pen
There’s no need to use a shared pen to sign documents. Instead, bring your own to cut down on the risk of cross-contamination, but make sure the ink is black or blue.
Use Hand Sanitizer
A new study shows that COVID-19 can live on your skin for up to nine hours. When researchers tested hand sanitizer with 80% ethanol, it killed COVID-19 in just 15 seconds. Don’t forget to sanitize your hands before and after you vote.
Cover Your Fingers
Minimize germs when you’re actually voting by covering your fingers with disposable gloves or tissues when you pull the lever or use a touch screen. Dispose of them immediately and then sanitize your hands.
As always, once you get home, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. It’s the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Find more information on staying healthy in our COVID-19 information hub. Remember it’s your civic right and duty to vote. Following these safety guidelines will hopefully make you feel more comfortable if you choose to vote in person