Voting in a Covid Pandemic: Wear a Mask and Bring Your Own Pens

Early voting has already generated long, long lines in many states, and with the November election just 11 days away, many states and cities have imposed safety measures to protect voters and poll workers from exposure to the coronavirus.

But polling places still have the potential to become “mass gathering events,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned in an advisory released on Friday, adding that measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 could be improved.

The C.D.C. based its latest advice on a survey from the experiences of 522 poll workers in Delaware’s statewide primary in September.

Guidelines issued by the agency in June recommended various ways to minimize crowds at polling locations, including absentee voting and extended voting hours.

To cut down on disease transmission, the C.D.C. also recommended putting up physical barriers between voting machines; spacing the machines apart from one another; indicating 6-foot distances with signs or floor markings for those waiting in line to vote; designating separate entrances and exits; the use of protective gear — masks, face shields, gloves and gowns — for poll workers assisting sick voters; and allowing curbside voting for people who are ill.

“Ensuring that ill voters can