Election Day in the United States is exactly a week away and happens to fall not only during a pandemic but during a time where cases are starting to spike again across the country. Does this mean you should forfeit your opportunity to vote this year in order to stay safe? No way, I don’t think so! What this does mean is that extra safety precautions will be needed for in-person voting or you can choose another voting alternative this year. As much as I enjoy the process of going to a local voting booth to cast my vote, I decided to fill out my ballot and hand deliver it at a drop off box within my community. If you are nervous your vote might not be counted for, there are websites (this varies based on your state) that actually track your vote. In the state of New Jersey where I am from, I created an account and was able to see the exact date my vote was cast. If you do a google search, you should readily be able to find a ballot tracker based on the state you are from.
Now if you are going to still vote in-person, there are a few safety tips to keep in mind to prevent the likelihood of coming in contact with the virus.
Wear Your Mask at All Times – I feel as though this should go without saying but I cannot emphasize the importance of wearing a mask whenever you are in public or places where there are groups of people which includes the voting booths.
Bring A Pen Instead of Using Theirs – There will definitely not be a shortage of pens at the polls and they probably have a way to sanitize them between use but I still would advise bringing your own pen instead to prevent the potential spread of germs.
Clean Your Hands Frequently with Your Own Hand Sanitizer – Although the polls will most likely have plenty of hand sanitizers, I would still recommend being prepared and have your own handy. Of course the less contact your hands are to your surroundings, the better yet it is wise to be prepared to sanitize your hands any time you touch something.
Try to Go During Off Peak Hours – If possible, try to go during times the polls will have less people. If you are in a city, this might be tough to do as it will be inevitable that you will be stuck waiting on line; however, if there are times you can go in which there will be less crowds (usually in the middle of the day while most people are working), then plan to go during these times.
Avoid Socializing and Stay Social Distanced – As much as it is nice to chat with someone while you are in line or talk to someone you ran into who you know, this is not a good time to get too close to someone or to carry on a conversation. It is obviously not personal and people should be understanding given the circumstances.