Public-Health Experts: In-Person Voting is Safe

As this piece today in the Washington Post notes, 70% of people are “very confident” their vote will be counted accurately if they vote in person, while only 30% say the same if they vote by mail. Many people want to vote in person, but are still concerned about whether there are potential health risks in doing so.

More and more public-health experts have issued statements or published pieces in recent weeks saying that in-person voting poses no significant health risk. With the protocols election officials are putting in place, in-person voting will not pose a significant health risk. Given the importance of this issue, I wanted to collect here some of these recent statements from public-health authorities:

In this August interview, Dr. Fauci says “there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to vote in person or otherwise,” and provides a fuller explanation.

Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel — special advisor for health policy to the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget in the Obama administration, currently Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania — has said in recent days that in-person voting is as safe as going to the grocery store.

Dr. William P. Hanage, associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, and Dr. Annabelle de St. Maurice, assistant professor of pediatric infectious diseases at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, recently published an article on the safety of in-person voting.

In addition, many states have expanded early-voting options this year, which means we can “flatten the in-person voting curve.”

I expect many public health authorities to come forward with similar reassurances as we move closer to the election.


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