ADPH shares guidelines on how to vote safely against COVID-19

Local News

People wait in the rain to vote in Montgomery, Ala., on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said a record number of absentee ballots have already been cast this year in the election. Some counties allowed Saturday voting for the first time. (AP Photo/Kim Chandler)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WDHN) — The Alabama Department of Public Health released guidelines for voters to stay safe while they hit the polls for next week’s election.

The ADPH said that the longer you interact with others, the higher chance you have for spreading COVID-19. As such, personal practices and routine cleaning are crucial in lowering the risk.

“Organizations in the VoteSAFE Public Health Coalition are working to ensure the health of voters and emphasize that voting is critical to a thriving community,” the ADPH wrote in a release. “VoteSAFE wants to communicate the message that decisions made on local ballots will have a direct impact on your health, the health of your neighbors, and the health of your state and communities. Social, economic and environmental conditions are impacted by policies supported or opposed by elected officials.”

The ADPH recommended absentee voting, avoiding crowds, and voting at “off-peak times” to limit interactions with others. It also gave the following suggestions for voters:

  • Check your voting location and requirements in advance because they may have changed due to COVID-19.
  • Verify your voter registration information is correct before going to the polls.
  • Contact your local election office for additional information for voters with disabilities.
  • Make sure you have a valid photo identification handy to avoid delays.
  • Review or complete a sample ballot ahead of time to speed the process of casting your ballot.
  • Bring your own black ink pen.
  • Bring a stylus or similar object for use with touchscreen voting; however, check with poll workers before using it.

The ADPH also shared the following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as things voters should follow:

  • Wash your hands before entering and after leaving the polling location.
  • While at the polls, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol frequently, especially after touching surfaces frequently touched by multiple people, such as door handles.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues away in lined trash cans
  • Wear a facial covering unless you have trouble breathing, are incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. Children under 2 should not wear masks.
  • Maintain at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) of distance from others. Continue social distancing even when wearing masks.

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