Katie Hobbs Secretary Of State

Voter Safety

2020 Election season

Guidance for Reducing COVID-19 Risks at In-Person Voting Locations
This guidance provides recommendations for county election officials to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 at in-person voting locations. These recommendations are based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Recommendations for Election Polling Locations and feedback from the Arizona Department of Health Services.
hand holding mask
hand holding mask
1
Encourage voters to vote by mail or vote early to reduce exposure to others and limit Election Day crowds
Vote-by-mail: Election officials should encourage voters to sign up for the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) or, at least 10 days before the Election, request a ballot-by-mail for the 2020 elections so they can vote from the comfort and safety of their homes, minimize direct contact with others, and help reduce crowd size on Election Day.
In-person early voting: Those who cannot vote by mail (e.g., due to lack of mail service or the need for accommodations or language assistance) should be encouraged to vote in-person early, when crowds tend to be smaller. Counties are encouraged to utilize HAVA and CARES Act funding to increase in-person early voting opportunities, particularly in rural and tribal communities that have historically faced barriers to voting by mail.
2
Ensure voting locations have adequate cleaning and disinfecting supplies, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for poll workers
Each voting location should have handwashing facilities with sufficient soap, water, and drying materials. The Secretary of State’s Office can assist with acquisition and delivery of portable handwashing stations for counties that anticipate using voting locations without readily accessible handwashing facilities.
Each voting location should provide sufficient alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) for voters to use before and after voting and for poll workers to use throughout the day. Consider placing the hand sanitizer at visible, frequently used locations such as registration desks and points of entry/exit.
Each voting location should provide PPE for poll workers, including face masks or cloth face coverings, face shields, and rubber gloves. Face masks or coverings should also be made available for voters who do not bring their own.
Each voting location should have sufficient cleaning and disinfection supplies, including disinfecting wipes or disinfecting spray and paper towels, as well as cleaning products for voting machines and related equipment based on manufacturers’ recommendations.
woman in mask who voted
3
Provide instructions to poll workers for reducing COVID-19 risks
Poll workers should be instructed to stay home if they have a fever, respiratory symptoms, or otherwise believe they are sick. Counties should have back-up poll workers trained and ready to deploy in case of last-minute cancellations among poll workers.
Poll workers should be required to wear a face mask or cloth face covering when working. Voters should be required or strongly encouraged to wear a mask or cloth face covering, and those who cannot do so should be requested to utilize curbside or drive-thru options to protect others in the voting location.
Poll workers should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Poll workers should routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at the voting location, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc. If necessary, counties should consider designating a poll worker to ensure sufficient cleaning of frequently touched surfaces and compliance with other recommendations, such as physical distancing protocols.
Poll workers should receive specific guidance (based on the manufacturer’s instructions) for routinely cleaning and disinfecting voting-associated equipment (e.g., voting machines, laptops, tablets, keyboards).
Counties should consult with their voting machine manufacturer for guidance on appropriate disinfection products for voting machines and associated electronics.
If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider using alcohol-based wipes or spray with at least 70% alcohol to clean voting machine buttons and touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids.
4
Implement physical distancing at voting locations
Counties should implement procedures to ensure that individuals who are not caregivers or from the same household remain at least 6 feet apart at the voting location. Counties should use floor tape and/or signage and instruct poll workers to help facilitate physical distancing.
Counties should ensure voting locations have sufficient space to allow physically-distanced lines, provide physical distance between voting booths, and maintain distance between poll workers and voters as much as possible.
man in mask who voted
5
Provide alternative voting arrangement to limit exposure to others
Provide curbside voting whenever possible and ensure adequate signage and instructions so voters can request the accommodation from the parking lot.
Consider setting up drive-thru voting arrangements and ballot drop-off options at appropriate voting locations.
Request voters who cannot or do not wear a mask or face covering to utilize curbside or drive-thru options to protect others in the voting location.
6
Avoid locating polling places where there are high-risk populations
Counties should avoid locating polling places at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and senior residences to reduce exposure among older individuals and those with chronic medical conditions, who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
7
Share with voters the Secretary of State’s recommendations for in-person voting
Come prepared. Review and mark a sample ballot so you can vote quickly and minimize the time you need to spend at the voting location.
Wear a face covering. If it can be safely managed, wear a cloth face covering when you go to vote to help protect those around you.
Bring your own pen. Bring your own pen to the voting location to minimize contact with surfaces others may have touched. Some voting locations may have single-use pens available but bringing your own pen will help keep you safe and minimize waste.
Maintain physical distancing. Stay at least 6 feet away from other voters and poll workers whenever possible (except for caregivers or members of the same household).
Wash your hands. Wash your hands with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds) before and after voting. If handwashing facilities are not readily available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Don’t touch your face. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
hand with ballot
Mark your sample ballot and bring it with you so you can vote quickly on Election Day.
mask
Wear a face covering.
pen
Bring your own pen.
social distancing
Stay at least 6 feet away from other voters and poll workers.
washing hands
Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
hand touching face
Avoid touching your face.
Questions? Visit Arizona.Vote or contact the Secretary of State's Office at 1-877-THE-VOTE.