Election day is less than a couple of weeks away and the pandemic has changed the way you can access the polls this year. And if you are at risk for COVID-19, it’s especially important that you know your options.
As you make your voting plans, here are some important things to keep in mind.
The good news is that most voters will be able to cast ballots by mail this year. From a public health perspective, voting absentee or by mail is a straightforward way to avoid contracting or spreading COVID-19. While you still might need to visit a ballot drop box or voting center to deliver your ballot, doing this minimizes contact with other people and helps reduce crowding at voting sites. Don’t know where your ballot drop location is? You can find it here: canivote.org.
You may still prefer to cast your ballot in person or need in-person voting assistance because of a disability. Early voting and voting in-person on Election Day will remain popular options this year, but early voting is usually less crowded. Make a plan! Look up your polling location here. https://www.nass.org/can-i-vote/find-your-polling-place
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If you have questions or face difficulties voting, call the election protection hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683). Their election experts can help you deal with any problems you may face at the polls.
Voters should follow instructions when heading out to drop off their ballot or check in at a polling location, but they can also simply remember to follow the best practices public health officials have identified for other activities: wear a mask, practice physical distancing, and wash your hands.
Public health experts are also advising voters who are sick or worried they might have been exposed to COVID-19 to contact their local elections office. They may have options like casting an emergency absentee ballot or meeting an election worker outside a polling location to do curbside voting from their car.