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Voting in the time of coronavirus: Some tips to cast your ballot safely

Election worker Melissa Balderas wears a topical mask while assisting early voters Monday at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Like everything in the time of coronavirus, voting in person isn’t business as usual this year.

Though millions of Californians have already cast their ballots, plenty more will make the traditional pilgrimage to the polls to vote Tuesday.

While everyone should remain wary of the continued threat posed by the coronavirus crisis, officials said there are procedures and processes in place to make in-person voting as safe as possible.

“Voting is safe. If you need to go to a voting center, please do,” Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Monday. “It’s very important that everybody feel they can go and vote and that there will be safety at the voting centers.”

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Here are some precautions experts recommend if you’re planning to vote in person today:

  • Wear a face covering: Experts have said even a simple cloth mask can both keep unknowingly infected people from spreading the coronavirus, and reduce the amount of virus that your body will take in if you encounter someone who is infectious.
  • Practice physical distancing in line and at voting booths: Health officials recommend staying at least six feet away from people you do not live with.
  • Bring hand sanitizer and use it whenever you come into contact with a surface other people have touched.
  • Avoid crowds: Try and vote during off-peak hours, or at least keep your distance from others at the polling place.
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