Public Health Guidance for Elections - COVID-19

We would like to express our gratitude to our local election partners for all of your incredible work leading your communities through these very trying times.  WEC staff has worked with a public health official to develop guidance to help you prepare your polling places and poll workers for Election Day.  Included in this packet, please find:

•    Webinar.  We have developed a webinar which we will post for clerks to view and to use as training for poll workers.  The webinar covers the items in this packet, outlines specific procedures recommended for the poll book and voter registration tables and provides additional guidance developed with a public health official.  Please see our COVID-19 Pollworker Training Webinar here

•    Checklist.  This checklist was developed with the advice of a public health official to outline processes for conducting Election Day voting safely for voters and poll workers.  Please review the checklist and incorporate these practices into your Election Day planning.

•    Poll Worker Screener.  The public health official advising the WEC has suggested that on Election Day poll workers be screened to ensure that they can safely work.  Attached you will find the screening questions to ask to poll workers.  You may either choose to have each poll worker fill out the screener or post the screener and ask poll workers to read the questions and answer them.

•    Polling Place Signage.  As is discussed in the attached checklist, it is advised that you place signs on the entrance and in relevant spots in the polling place to advise voters of procedures and enforce social distancing standards.  Again, these signs were developed with the advice of a public health official.  We will also be distributing printed signs to each county to be distributed to municipalities along with other supplies.  

•    Hospitalized Electors.  At its March 27 meeting, the Commission voted to expand the definition of hospitalized elector to include voters in quarantine.  We also worked with a public health official to discuss the recommended process to conduct the hospitalized elector process with quarantined voters.  This memo to clerks outlines the recommended process and explains the expanded definition.

•    Curbside/ Drive-Through Procedures.  Clerks have asked for guidance on how to conduct curbside voting in accordance with health guidance for those who are not able to enter the polling place.  There have also been jurisdictions who have asked for advisement on how to conduct outdoor or “drive-through” voting.  This memo to clerks outlines the recommended process and provides public heath procedures.

•    Absentee Witness Requirement.  Clerks and voters have also asked for guidance on how absentee voters can have their ballot witnessed in accordance with public health guidance.  This memo to clerks outlines the recommended process and provide suggested options for voters who are having difficulty meeting the witness requirement.

WEC staff continues to develop additional documentation that clerks have been requesting to prepare for Election Day.  We expect to finalize and post the following resources in the coming days:

•    Live Q&A Sessions.  After the webinar and materials are posted, we will also be holding a series of live Q&A sessions so that clerks have an opportunity to ask questions of WEC staff about how to incorporate this health guidance into their Election Day procedures.  

•    Videos.  To help visualize the processes, like poll book signing and registration, we are also developing videos to demonstrate the process which you can use for training.  Please see our Polling Place Procedures (COVID-19) video here

•    Supplies.  We are finalizing plans to get needed supplies like sanitizer to polling places and we hope to share details about those plans early this week. 

Thank you for all you do!  We will continue to keep you up to date on resources available as we get closer to Election Day.  

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