Tens of thousands of Americans with newly diagnosed cases of coronavirus face a dilemma if they haven’t already voted in the presidential election: Are they allowed to vote in person on Tuesday?
Yes, but they need to take precautions to protect poll workers and other voters, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Having COVID-19 or being exposed to the virus “would not preclude them from exercising their right to vote,” Jasmine Reed, a CDC spokesperson, told ABC News in a statement.
While voting in person can be accomplished safely, according to the CDC, the agency recommends that whenever possible “alternative voting options should be made available for those with COVID-19, those who have symptoms of COVID-19 and those who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.”
The CDC recommends that alternative voting options minimize contact between poll workers and voters and that polling places provide workers with masks, face shields, gloves and gowns, and train workers on how to use that personal protective equipment correctly, before they interact with symptomatic voters.
It’s also imperative that voters who are sick take steps to protect poll workers and other voters.
“This includes wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, and washing their hands or using hand sanitizer before and after voting,” Reed said. “These voters also should let poll workers know about their condition when arriving at the polling location.”