People standing in line with masks on

Voting During a Health Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacted not only a public health crisis but also an economic crisis unlike anything this country has seen since the Great Depression. 

The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated inequities in this country with black people being disproportionately impacted, dying at nearly three times the rate of white people in this country and filing for unemployment at 16.8% compared to 12.4% for white Americans. Unfortunately, this pandemic is not only a public health emergency and economic crisis, it is also a threat to the very foundation of our democracy: free and fair elections.  To address this threat we must ensure that all voters have the option of voting by mail and safe in person voting. To achieve this the following measures must be adopted:  

  • extended early in-person voting period (allowing for voters to come in over a spread-out period rather than in a cluster on Election Day),
  • no-excuse absentee voting-by-mail (including a number of options through which to request and return ballots),
  • expanded voter registration options (including online voter registration and same-day voter registration), prohibition of polling place adjustments that disproportionately impact vulnerable populations (such as people of color, Native Americans, limited-English proficient citizens, people with disabilities, and students), and
  • voter education (informing the public of new practices and immediately quashing disinformation as it arises).

Recommendations for voters


Hands under faucet

Wash your hands before entering and after leaving the polling location.

Hand with bottle of sanitizer

Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol after touching surfaces, such as door handles or voting machines.

Person sneezing into tissue

Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in lined trash cans. Wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Face mask

Wear a mask. Children under 2 and anyone who has trouble breathing, is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance should not wear a mask.

Two people positioned six feet apart

Maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others. It is important to continue social distancing even when you and others are wearing masks.

Be a prepared voter during a pandemic


  • Check your voting location and requirements in advance because they may have changed due to COVID-19.
  • Verify your voter registration information is correct in advance of reporting to the polling location.
  • Contact your local or state election office for additional information for voters with disabilities.
  • Make sure you have all necessary documents to avoid delays at the polling location.
  • If possible, complete any registration forms prior to arriving at the polling location.
  • Where possible, review or complete a sample ballot at home to speed the process of casting your ballot at the polling location.
  • Bring your own black ink pen.
  • Bring a stylus or similar object for use with touchscreen voting machines. Check with poll workers before using.