COVID-19 Voting Safety Guidelines
Voter Safety Recommendations
The following are the minimum recommended voter safety guidelines for all voters in Texas. Voters are encouraged to adopt additional protocols consistent with their specific needs and circumstances to help protect the health and safety of all Texans.
When possible, maintain at least six feet separation from other voters at the polling location and practice other safety etiquette like:
Self-screen before going to a polling place. Make sure you don’t have any of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
- Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
- Known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19
Are you experiencing any of the above symptoms? You are still legally allowed to vote but make sure to take precaution. Consider asking about curbside voting or contacting the county election office.
While face coverings are not required to vote, they are strongly encouraged when entering the polling place, or when within six feet of another person who is not a member of your household. Remember: Face masks should cover both your mouth and nose.
If the election judge is not able to determine your identity due to your face covering, you should be prepared to lower or remove the face covering when checking-in at a polling place. After your identity has been confirmed, cover back up your nose and mouth.
Bexar County will provide pencils and finger cots to every voter.
Wash or disinfect hands when you enter the polling place. Wash or disinfect hands after any interaction with election workers, poll watchers, or other individuals at the polling place and after using voting system equipment or marking a ballot.
Bexar County recommends the use of personal hand sanitizer when possible.
If you contract COVID-19 after the deadline to submit an application for a ballot by mail, you should contact the Bexar County Elections Office for more details about submitting an Application for Emergency Early Voting Ballot Due to Sickness or Physical Disability.
People 65 or older are at a higher risk of COVID-19 and should follow our voter safety guidelines.
When possible, avoid contact within six feet with individuals aged 65 and older.
People 65 and older should consider staying at home as much as possible and are eligible to vote by mail.
Polling locations will be set up to ensure voter safety guidelines are followed.
- Polling locations will be set up 6 feet apart.
- Tape or chalk will be used to mark adequate spacing on polling place floors
- Surfaces will be regularly cleaned and disinfected.
- Election Officials will install plastic guards at check-in tables
Election Worker Health and Safety
Health and safety considerations have been included in election worker training to ensure voter safety.
- All election workers will be provided and must wear face masks and face shields throughout the election period.
- Employees and polling place workers have been advised to wash or sanitize their hands upon entering the election office or polling place, and between interactions with voters or other personnel.
- Election workers have been asked to self-screen for signs or symptoms of possible COVID-19 on a daily basis.
- While working, employees and polling place workers should maintain at least six feet separation from other individuals not within the same household, to the extent feasible.
- If any employee or polling place worker develops signs or symptoms of COVID-19 while at work, the worker will be sent home immediately and remaining workers to clean and sanitize the areas in which the person was working.
- Employees or polling place workers with new or worsening signs or symptoms of COVID-19 to return to a polling place or election office until:
- the case of an employee or polling place worker who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to work when all three of the following criteria are met:
- at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications); and
- the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and
- at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared;
- In the case of an employee or polling place worker who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and does not get evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, the individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to work until the individual has completed the same three-step criteria listed above; or
- If an employee or polling place worker has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to work before completing the above self-isolation period, the individual must obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis.