Tips for staying healthy when voting in person
- Practice physical distancing and stay 6 feet away from poll workers and other voters.
- Wear a mask or other face covering to protect yourself, election workers, and other voters. Avoid touching your mask or face.
- Before and after voting, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
If you are sick or concerned that you have been exposed to the coronavirus, seek medical care. If you don’t have an absentee ballot, contact your local election office for guidance about your voting options.
How can I help keep the voting center or polling place healthy for everyone?
- Follow instructions for healthy voting at your in-person voting location.
- Wear a mask or other face-covering, and maintain a physical distance of 6 feet to protect yourself, election workers, and other voters.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Wash with soap and water or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol before and after voting.
- Avoid touching things not related to voting.
- Avoid sanitizing voting machines yourself. Voting machines can be sensitive and election workers are trained to sanitize equipment.
How can I reduce the number of people I have to interact with when I vote?
- If you can, go when the voting center will not be as busy, usually mid-morning or early-afternoon.
- Some local elections offices may offer information about wait times at different voting center locations.
- Use curbside or drive-through voting if it is available. Find a location near you at your elections website.
How can I travel safely to an in-person voting location?
- Driving, walking, or biking can minimize contact with other people.
- If you go with a driver who does not live with you, wear a mask or other face covering. Ask the person driving you to do the same.
- If you go on a bus or subway, wear a mask or other face covering. Try to sit or stand at least 6 feet from other people.
- Bring hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol so you can wash your hands after traveling.
Should I wear gloves?
For voting in person, gloves will not necessarily protect you from a virus and may still lead to the spread of germs. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
If you are cleaning or disinfecting a space, or caring for someone who is sick, gloves are an important part of personal protection. If you are providing care to someone who is ill, use disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting the area around the person who is sick or other surfaces that may have touched. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol after you have removed the gloves. After using disposable gloves, throw them away in a lined trash can. Do not disinfect or reuse the gloves.
How voting in person works
You go to a place where you can vote. You sign in with an election official. You get a ballot.
You go to a private place (a voting booth) to fill out your ballot. If voting from your car is an option, you stay in your car to fill out the ballot.
Some voting systems have a printer that prints out your ballot after you have marked your choices. Or, you might mark your ballot on paper by filling in bubbles with a pen.
If the ballot is on paper, you put it in an official ballot box or machine to count the ballots (sometimes called a scanner) to cast your ballot.
Tips for successfully voting in person
Many states offer early voting – days before Election Day when you can go in person and vote. To find out if your state has early voting (and what days that will be), check our page for your state.
If your state says that you must show an ID, be sure to bring it with you.
If you need special accommodations
Places where you can vote in person are supposed to always be physically accessible to everyone and have voting options for people with special needs (for example, people who must listen to the options rather than seeing them).
If you have a special need, check before you go.
Find information about your voting options