How To Vote, Safely
And how will those over 180 thousand registered electors vote and not catch, or spread COVID 19?
It's a very real concern - for the elderly and vulnerable in particular - and also for poll workers - because, surely, nobody wants to turn election day into a super spreader event.
So how should you vote, while staying safe and keeping everyone else safe? That's what the Director of Health Services discussed yesterday on Ask the Experts:
Dr. Marvin Manzanero, DHS
"What are the ways you can catch corona on election day?" many ways. One, is not wearing a mask properly, not doing physical distancing. Doing things beyond just casting your vote and going home. I think that's perhaps the easiest way to catch Corona Virus, is if people go an linger around the polling station. I think our civic duty - and I'm stressing that - should be we go cast our vote, walk out of the polling station and go home. I don't see any reason why anybody - and I'm saying this as a person who has worked election duties and someone who has voted - I anticipated going to vote early. Take your ID, you don't have to take anything else, not even your mobile device because your mobile device catches - It is full of bacteria and stuff. All you need to do is take you ID, present yourself, take off your mask for 10 seconds if you will for people to identify you, put your mask back on, dip your finger, go get your ballot, put whatever you need to put, walk back out and go home. Wash your hands as soon as you get home."
"I know people are concerned about the ink and people are concerned about the pencil or ballot box. That's not proven to be a primary source of infection or infections that are driven. The primary sources are going to be primarily talking without a mask, especially if you are the one who is positive, and breathing. If you are wearing your mask and keeping your physical distance - and as I said no reason for you to be having discussions or talking with anybody really- the process should be a rather smooth one. Because at the end of the day beyond that, you also have to be mindful of the election persons, the public officers conducting the actual election process. Out of respect for them and as I was explaining to election clerks and returning officers is, providing that those provisions are kept, you have all the right to make sure people are always wearing a mask when they are coming into the polling station. You will have a lot of people coming in but as long as they are just following that process of coming by, you verifying who they are, allowing them to dip their finger in the ink, taking their ballot, go cast their ballot and then placing it in the ballot box when they are finished. The risk is not going to be there if we all follow that process, both from the officers conducting the election and the persons who are actually casting their vote."
There will be public service announcements soon to be released advising voters on how to cast their ballots safely.