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Dr. Fauci shares his tips on staying safe from coronavirus while voting

Published Oct 2nd, 2020 12:28PM EDT
voting safely
Image: Kevin Dietsch - Pool via CNP/MEGA

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  • Dr. Anthony Fauci says he plans to vote in person this year, and believe it will be a safe process for the vast majority of people, as long as rules are followed.
  • Social distancing and wearing a mask are the two most important factors that Fauci cites.
  • If you plan on doing a mail-in ballot instead, you should do so as soon as possible.

In case you hadn’t seen, the coronavirus pandemic is actually getting worse in many US states. In others, it’s slowed down a bit but is still a major problem. None of us are out of the woods yet, but it’s an election year, and voting is a very big deal. Thankfully, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has carved out his own plan for voting in person, and it’s easy for just about anyone to follow.

You probably won’t be surprised by any of Dr. Fauci’s advice, as it’s things we’ve heard continuously over the past six to nine months or so, but it’s still incredibly important information to follow if you’re going to be heading to the polls rather than voting by mail.

Speaking on the ABC News ‘Start Here’ podcast, Dr. Fauci says that there are a few things to consider when deciding to vote in person, including the status of your state, city, and neighborhood with regard to the outbreak. However, despite the seriousness of the pandemic, voting in person can still be a safe endeavor as long as the polling station and the voters are following the rules.

“If the polling groups who are in charge of it, they’re going to do…what happens when you go to a grocery store or to a coffee shop — you see things, things on the floor: ‘Stand Here.’ And then six feet later, there’s a little couple of shoes that say, ‘Stand Here’ and then ‘Stand Here.'” Fauci says. “So if you stay six feet apart and you wear a mask and you’re in line outside, and when you go inside, if the polling staff clearly are being careful with masks, you physically can go and vote. For sure, because it’s just the standard public health measure.”

However, Dr. Fauci also says that if you arrive at the polls and notice people aren’t wearing their masks or the polling location doesn’t have enough room to allow for social distancing, that he’d consider grabbing an absentee ballot and voting that way. It’s important to note that if you wish to vote absentee, you should do so right away, as most states with mail-in voting or absentee voting are already going through that process.

Whatever you end up doing, it’s important that you do whatever is necessary to vote and to vote safely. If that means a mail-in ballot, that’s perfectly fine, or if you want to head to the polls on election day, that’s also totally okay.