The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) joins election officials and others in urging Alabamians to practice healthy behaviors when making their voices heard by voting in the November 3 general election.
A guiding principle in lowering the risk of COVID-19 transmission is that the more an individual interacts with others, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. Personal prevention practices and environmental cleaning and disinfection are important in lowering 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. 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and ADPH recommend the following practices for voters:
• 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.
Other suggestions include voting absentee, avoiding crowds, and voting at off-peak times such as mid-morning. To help minimize risks and save yourself time, consider these tips:
• 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.
For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/election-polling-locations.html