Keeping voters safe as election looms

There’s only a month until US citizens take to the polls in the 2020 Presidential Election and candidates notwithstanding, it’s going to be an unusual one. As many states brace for a second wave of Covid-19, controversy around mail-in ballots is matched only by worry about how authorities can keep people safe while encouraging them to come out and vote at polling stations.

It clear that as with all things Covid, information will be key – and that means opportunities for print shops to capitalise on demand for visual displays as well as other infrastructure to reinforce protocols around physical distancing and hygiene. Most Americans will still opt to vote in person and those people need to be able to do so with complete confidence and safety – that means not only ensuring they are safe, but ensuring they can see that they are safe, and making sure they don’t put others at risk.

There is no doubt that banner stands and other displays will be a prominent feature as people turn out to vote across the country. Polling stations will still need to advertise their location with outdoor signage in the form of feather banners and sidewalk stands – and the latter will undoubtedly be of huge importance when it comes to crowd or line management as people wait their turn to vote while observing physical distancing measures.

Before people enter the polling station, they’ll need to be reminded of the key messages: stay away if you have a fever, a new and continuous cough or changes to your sense of taste or smell; keep your distance from others; wear a face covering and wash or sanitise your hands before and after touching surfaces. Retractable banners and large sidewalk signs are ideal for displaying this important information in a high-impact format that’s easy to read from a distance.

Much of this information will likely be duplicated inside the polling station and combined with other printed media such as posters and floor stickers to further reinforce messaging around physical distancing and hand hygiene. In terms of the latter, an abundance of hand sanitizing stations will also be required to ensure people can disinfect their hands both on the way in and on the way out – likely in a one-way system. Given the large volumes of people concerned, an industrial-style design such as Frontline’s Marshall sanitizer station is a great option – it holds a five liter bottle of sanitizer and boasts and elbow-operated lever which further reduces the risk of cross-contamination.

Managing the volume of people waiting to vote in polling stations will be a challenge when trying to limit contact and facilitate cleaning/disinfection of polling booths after every use. Printers may also be able to help in this regard by providing branded screens to enable multiple lines of people with minimal or no contact. Certainly, polling booths themselves will need to be virus-proofed – and the use of portable screens such as the Frontline Swiftscreen Solo offer a convenient and effective solution. These freestanding plexiglass screens can be used to create enclosed spaces for voting or waiting in line, preventing the airborne spread of germs and making it supremely easy to keep on top of cleaning. Opaque, frosted or printed media can be safely added to provide additional confidentiality.

Whatever the outcome of the vote, this Presidential Election is one that none of us will forget for a very long time. To find out how Frontline products can support your business to make the most of the opportunities it presents, email us today on