The following Election Day protocols will be followed at all Cass County polling locations.
To limit crowd size, try to arrive at off-peak times. This is typically the mid-morning or the early afternoon. Bring a face covering and your own pen, if desired. Avoid sharpies, gel pens and other pens that may bleed through paper.
All election judges will receive training on the new protocols, as well as written documentation.
Following best practices as well as the Gov. Tim Walz Emergency Executive Order 20-81, everyone must wear a face covering or face shield, unless exempt due to health reasons.
Health reasons include health conditions, disabilities, or mental health, developmental, or behavioral needs that make it difficult to tolerate wearing a face covering or shield. If you do not have a face covering or shield, election officials will give a disposable mask prior to entry.
Those who cannot or refuse to wear a face covering can vote “curbside.” A ballot will be brought out to the car or to an appropriate location outside. If you refuse to vote curbside, you will be allowed to vote; however, the incident will be documented and reported to appropriate authorities, unless you are exempt from the order.
Hand sanitizer will be available when you enter and exit. A sanitizing station will be at the entrance and exit, with signage. Each of you will be asked to apply sanitizer before you enter and again before they exit. If you refuse or for any reason cannot apply the sanitizer (allergy, etc.), you will still be allowed to vote.
You must observe social distancing. Six-foot intervals must be kept as much as possible while inside the polling place. Areas may be marked to indicate the six-foot distance.
Voting booths and check-in tables will be spaced at least 6 feet apart. At least one table will be available for voters who need assistance (which may require two election judges of different parties) to use, so they can maintain social distance as much as possible, rather than crowding around a booth together. This may also mean that you may have to wait outside of the polling place until advised by an Election Judge to enter the polling place.
You will be offered a sanitized pen, a disposable pen (or you can bring your own). You will get a sanitized pen at the polling place entry. You will discard your pen before leaving; election judges will disinfect the pen before being returned to the entrance. You are welcome to bring your own pen, if desired. Avoid sharpies, gel pens and other pens that may bleed through paper.
You can choose to vote curbside. There will be a number visible outside of your polling place to call to request curbside voting. If you cannot easily leave your vehicle for mobility reasons, or because you need to avoid contact with others as a health precaution, you can ask to have a ballot brought out to your car. This is known as “curbside voting.”
Two election judges from different major political parties will be assigned this task. They must sanitize their gloved hands immediately before and after serving a voter curbside, as these voters may be some of the most vulnerable to infection.
You will be offered a pre-cut “I Voted” sticker placed on a table. Election judges will pre-cut “I Voted” stickers and place on a table to avoid unnecessary hand-to-hand contact.