Ask Dr. Nandi: Tips for voting safely in person through Election Day

Posted at 6:57 PM, Nov 02, 2020

If you’re voting in person on Election Day tomorrow, I have some tips to help keep you safe when casting your ballot:

1. Please wear a mask at all times while voting.

2. Next, avoid the long lines and vote during the “off-peak hours”. That tends to be mid-morning or mid-afternoon.

3. Thirdly, bring hand sanitizer. Use it after touching surfaces like doors, tables, or voting booths.

4. Also, if you can, bring your own pen. It has to be blue or black ink or your vote won’t be counted.

5. Next, if it’s possible, try to wait outdoors. The virus loves indoor spaces with poor ventilation so outside is safer as the virus can dissipate much easier.

6. Also, be sure to follow social distancing rules. Keep 6 feet apart from others around you.

7. Please don’t bring your children or others who are not voting, unless you require assistance due to a disability.

8. Lastly, if you need transportation, try to avoid crowded buses or ride-sharing services. If you have to, be sure to wear a mask and crack a window if you can to let in fresh air.

When it comes to masks, people should be picky about what they wear. I have a test you can do with your masks at home: take your mask and hold it up to the light. If you can easily see through it, it is NOT a good mask to wear.

The best masks are made of cotton and have two to three layers of fabric. If your mask is a single layer, research has shown it is not going to protect you as well. And while I’m talking about masks, here’s another tip: Make sure your nose, not just your mouth, is covered. If it’s not, you’re completely defeating the purpose since the virus is most likely to enter your body when you breathe in.

Also, don't be fooled by marketing language on hand sanitizers. You need to look at the ingredient list. The products need to contain 60% or more ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol. That’s what’s needed to kill most coronaviruses. Another note: if you've kept your sanitizer in the car during the summer, you might want to toss it because its effectiveness might have been compromised due to heat.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.