The coronavirus pandemic is not going away before Election Day. While voting by mail is the safest option to avoid Covid-19 transmission, some individuals will be unable or unwilling to vote in this manner. Clear, evidence-based information about how to safely conduct in-person voting at polling places in November is more critical than ever. Accordingly, the Brennan Center has partnered with the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) to release Guidelines for Healthy In-Person Voting.
The document provides common-sense information on a range of topics, including voting location siting and configuration, supplies to prevent Covid-19 transmission, and poll worker precautions to protect voters and workers alike. Our guidelines draw from the independent, interdisciplinary knowledge of the more than 12,000 infectious diseases physicians, public health officials, epidemiologists, and researchers that make IDSA one of the nation’s preeminent medical organizations, as well as from the Brennan Center’s expertise in election administration. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also issued recommendations for election polling locations, which we suggest reviewing.
No voter should have to choose between their safety and their fundamental right to vote in November. And with the right policies, planning, and practices in place, they will not have to.