Public Health Officials and Voting Experts Release First-Ever Healthy Voting Guides

Date: May 28 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Will Soltero
APHA Media Relations, 202-777-3913

The launch of healthyvoting.org comes ahead of the June 2 and June 9 primaries

Washington, D.C. — Today, a nonpartisan coalition called We Can Vote released the country’s first-ever Healthy Voting guides. The state-specific guides were launched on the all-new healthyvoting.org, and they provide up-to-date information to voters on how to safely participate in this year’s elections.

The nonpartisan guides were drafted by experts from the American Public Health Association, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, the Center for Tech and Civic Life, and the Center for Civic Design. The guides cover best practices for mail voting and in-person voting, giving voters the opportunity to learn their state’s voting options and rules before they cast a ballot.

The guides advise voters to cast mail ballots when available and to practice physical distancing, mask wearing and hand washing when dropping off a ballot or casting a vote in person.

“This pandemic has tested our country in so many ways, but we cannot allow it to interfere with eligible Americans’ right to vote,” said Jessica Barba Brown, senior advisor of We Can Vote. “These Healthy Voting guides are informed by leading public health and civic engagement experts, and they will help voters in every state and territory understand how they can cast their ballot safely and successfully this year.”

“APHA and the public health community aim to support and ensure the constitutional right of voters to cast their ballots in the safest conditions,” said Susan Polan, associate executive director for public affairs and advocacy with the American Public Health Association. “We believe that voting is a social determinant of health. APHA is proud to have offered evidence-based expertise to the development of the Healthy Voting guides that will provide voters, poll workers, and everyone involved in the process with the information they need to safely participate in this year’s elections.”

A bipartisan group of policymakers also underscored the importance of the guides:

“No matter how states adapt their processes amidst this pandemic — be it a conversion to 100% vote-by-mail or increasing existing absentee programs — ensuring safe access to the ballot is critical,” said Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, a Republican. “This partnership between the elections community and the public health sector is critical to the success of this fall’s election, as well as the continued health of our democracy.”

Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware added: “No one should be forced to choose between their health and their right to vote, and with public health experts warning that a second wave of COVID-19 this fall is increasingly likely, millions of Americans will be forced to make that untenable choice if we don’t act now. That’s why I’ve been fighting to give states additional funding and resources to expand vote-by-mail and early voting, so every eligible voter can vote safely in the next election. I’m grateful for We Can Vote’s work to spread the word about safe voting, which is essential to protecting our democracy.”

Earlier today, representatives from partner organizations involved in drafting these guides addressed the media in a press call. The recording of that call is available here

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We Can Vote is a nonpartisan coalition that has come together around the shared goal of ensuring that our elections are safe, secure, and successful in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. WeCanVote.US provides accurate, up-to-date information on voting rules, volunteer opportunities, and nonpartisan advocacy campaigns for all 50 states, voting territories, and Americans Abroad.

APHA champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the public health profession. We speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Visit us at www.apha.org.