National: States Grapple With Germ-Ridden Voting Machines Amid Coronavirus | Gabriella Novello/WhoWhatWhy
Election officials have long dealt with faulty and vulnerable voting machines, but this year, they are also grappling with the risk of spreading a deadly virus to hundreds of thousands of individuals who will cast a ballot in person this November. While some states are beginning to make changes before the general election, a number of others will still require voters to use voting machines made with surfaces on which researchers say the coronavirus can linger for a number of days. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has even taken the rare step of wading into the debate on US elections. For the first time ever, the agency laid out on its website a number of public health guidelines for cleaning election equipment. But it is unlikely that a majority of voters are aware that some products, such as standard alcohol wipes, should not be used to clean a potentially contaminated voting machine. Indeed, while alcohol wipes may give the voter a sense of safety, they actually can jeopardize the entire voting process.