Page 1

Streets for Voting A Guide For Improv ing the Pandemic Voting Ex perience - Version 1.0 -


Our Team Street Plans (Author / Designer) Mike Lydon, Principal Aren Castro, Urban Designer Amalia Tomey, Urban Designer

Center for Tech and Civ ic Life (Adv isor) Tiana Epps-Johnson, Exectutive Director Whitney May, Director of Government Services

Futures Actions Network (Funder) Avinash Sarinaf, Strategist

North American Transportation Officials (NACTO) (Rev iewer) Corinne Kisner, Executive Director Zabe Bent, Director of Design


Table of Contents 1. Why This Matters 2. Streets for Voting Urban Places

Summary Access Queuing Health + Comfort

Summary Access Queuing Health + Comfort

15 16 19 21

Rural Places

22

Summary Access Queuing Health + Comfort

23 24 27 29

3. Materials + Human Resources

31

Introduction + Key Procurement Strategies Materials Human Resources

4. We’re Here for You: Technical Assistance Application 5. Sources

07 08 11 13

14

06

Suburban Places

01 04

32 33 42

45 47


1. Why This Matters


Intr oduction Running an election during a global pandemic is not easy. Despite a variety of ways to vote – absentee / mail-in, curbside, early voting – millions and millions of Americans will continue to vote in person on election day in 2020. Where this occurs, physical distancing requirements and/ or indoor capacity restrictions, the reduction of available polling locations, potential poll worker shortages, and the specter of reduced United States Postal Service capacity may lead to long and uncomfortable lines. Indeed, during the 2020 primaries extended wait times were common in cities across the country. For example, Milwaukee voters endured cold temperatures and hail during a 90 minute to 2.5-hour wait at one of just five polling locations. In a normal election year, these same voters would have 180 places to vote. More than just a city-by-city issue, the State of Maryland has reduced in-person voting centers from 1,800 to just 315 for the 2020 presidential election. If the 2020 primary and past presidential elections are used as a guide, voting could be very difficult for millions of Americans this November. Planned for or not, the spatial footprint required to conduct the 2020 presidential election is likely to grow across many urban, suburban, and even rural polling locations. Even with Americans exercising their right to use alternative voting methods, finding the available space to accommodate high turnout with physical distancing requirements while ensuring universal access and minimizing discomfort, is an essential urban design challenge.

As of October 2nd, 78% of states have indoor and outdoor capacity requirements due to COVID-19. Source: AARP

Why This Guide This spring/summer Street Plans worked closely with the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and Bloomberg Associates to develop a resource called the Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery. In the form of 2-page “cut sheets,” the document offers guidance for temporary changes to streets and public spaces as a means to deliver essential services and to move people safely and more efficiently during but also after the pandemic. Anticipating a host of election challenges, the NACTO guidance also addresses how streets may be re-purposed for voting. This initial guidance matters because thousands of municipal transportation leaders across the country now have a professionally sanctioned “permission slip” to work alongside election officials in the delivery of a more fair and safe 2020 election. However, as transportation planners and urban designers, we recognize that practical knowledge for how to close streets to thru trafffic, where to source temporary traffic control materials, and what the spatial impacts of organizing hundreds if not thousands of voters outdoors may not be core skills in every election official’s repertoire. The Streets for Voting Guide was created to expand upon NACTO’s high-level guidance so that streets, parking lots, and other public spaces may be used for voting-related activities across urban, suburban, and urban locations. Just as streets have been repurposed for outdoor dining and physically distant graduations, so too can they be used for exercising the most fundamental of our democratic rights: voting! 02


How to Use This Guide This Streets for Voting Guide was created over a six week sprint with the goal of supporting election officials, departments of transportation, and voting rights advocates navigate the impact COVID-19 continues to have on our daily lives. Users of this Guide should treat this document as “emerging guidance,” which will be updated continuously as new information, regulations, and precedents emerge in the coming days, weeks, and even months ahead, as it’s our goal to ensure that this work is relevant to the democratic process beyond the immediate pandemic. This Guide is by no means comprehensive, nor is it prescriptive. It does not provide detailed information, specific dimensions, or regulatory practices for the vast number of ways people vote in the United States. Rather, the Guide uses three schools that serve as real world voting centers to assert an overarching principle: voting in big cities is not like voting in suburbs, which is not necessarily like voting in the countryside. For example, the availability and use of open space can differ dramatically across the spectrum, as can the type of streets or land uses that surround poll locations. Similarly, various population densities served require different response mechanisms from election officials, including but not limited to the number and type of assigned poll workers, the number of voting machines, and the languages in which election materials need to be translated.

“ The failure to operate in the context that we’re in, which is a pandemic, and proactively use your resources to address the emergence of that: That is also a form of voter suppression.” - Leah Aden, Attorney, NAACP Legal Defense Fund

STREETS FOR VOTING 1 Signs and barriers at entry points indicate “Road Closed”; detour signs as needed

2

Markings to indicate physical distancing requirements

3 Expandable markings /signage to delineate poll station queue

4

So instead of accounting for all the differences this Guide is focused on what is common across the all environments: Election officials must consider how voters access the polls safely; determine how and where voters will queue; and assure sanitation measures are follwed to support voter health and comfort. As noted, the body of this work is organized into three sections covering the full urban to rural spectrum and visually depicts how access, queuing, and health and comfort decisions may play out at the polls. Give the format, there is no need to read this Guide in order; If you live and advocate in a rural community, go ahead skip ahead to that section.

2 5

4 Tents, shade structures,

3

seating, heaters, and other amenities to provide hospitable outdoor waiting condition

1

5 Space for administrative

functions such as information, registration, check-in, and mailin/absentee ballot drop-off.

Use street closures and open spaces to enable distancing during election activities. CONTEXT

However, this Guide also includes a Material and Human Resources documenting 27 low or moderately priced materials that can be purchased online or at other local businesses to support Streets for Voting. Each material includes the use, application(s), cost range, and sourcing information, as well as relevant tips or material alternatives if they exist. By no means exhaustive, this section also provides an overview of additional rolls poll workers and others may play to facilitate voting outdoors. Finally, thanks to our funders we’re offering free technical assistance! All applicants are welcome, but note that our goal is to support as many minority-majority voting districts as possible and/or places where turnout may be systemically suppressed by polling place reductions or other means. If your community would benefit from a few hours of our time, please fill out the questionnaire on page 47 and return it to us ASAP. The assistance will be given on a first come, demonstrated needs basis and will be provided within 2-3 business days. We’d love to hear from you! 03

• • •

Streets without transit service that are adjacent to polling locations Poll location parking lots (schools, libraries, city halls, municipal lots etc.) Parks, playgrounds, or other public spaces adjacent to poll locations

KEY STEPS • • • •

Install temporary traffic barriers, and signs. Identify agency and election volunteers to install and manage barricades / queuing activity. Provide amenities such as shade/shelter/heating as needed Ensure access for emergency vehicles.

Credit: Genie Godula

TIMELINE: Weeks

Paris, France

DURATION: One day to weeks, depending on local voting regulations, eg early voting, drop-off, etc.

Plazas and public spaces are already being used to extend socially distant queuing areas, such as this Paris schoolyard.

48

Streets for Voting, NACTO (2020)

Streets for Pandemic Response & Recovery | 09/24/2020


An outdoor voter registration event in Hudson, NY. Photo: Street Plans


2. Str eets for Voting


Urban

Urban areas feature higher concentrations of people and a low supply of adjacent open spaces to facilitate outdoor election activities. Given physical distancing requirements and indoor capacity limitations, the temporary use of streets (sidewalks, parking lanes, travel lanes) and other available open spaces for voting may be appropriate.


Summary Defined by density of people and proximity of goods and services, urban areas enable a variety of transportation options – walking, cycling, public transportation, ride sharing, taxis etc. – that need to be accommodated at poll locations. But with these choices comes less space available open space to facilitate outdoor election related activities. Thus, election officials serving urban zip codes should consider the temporary use of streets and sidewalks to support and enhance access, provide queuing efficiency, and allow health and comfort measures to be taken so that physical distance requirements and indoor gathering/capacity restrictions may be observed. General guidance is provided below, while more specifics may be found on the following pages.

General Spatial Strategies 1

Close adjacent street(s) to thru vehicular traffic, allowing only emergency vehicles, local residents, or vehicles carrying voters with physical mobility impairments or health needs.

2

Partially close adjacent streets(s) to thru vehicular traffic or restrict onstreet parking, allowing only one lane for thru travel.

3

Where partial or full street closures are difficult, utilize sidewalks, parking lanes, parking lots, or other open spaces (parks, playgrounds, schoolyards, ballfields, etc) adjacent to polling locations.

4

In all instances, manage pedestrian and vehicular flow so that queuing voters are provided dedicated separate space from non-voting travelers and passersby on other personal, academic, or professional business.

Key Steps • Install temporary traffic barriers and signs along key streets and within parking lots (if they exist and are utilized).

• Empower municipal staff and/or poll workers to install, manage, and monitor barricades / queuing activity.

• Provide comfort amenities such as seating, shade, water etc. as needed. • Maintain access for emergency and public transit vehicles, as well as those carrying voters with disabilities.

• Ensure design and operational guidance complies with overall local, state, and national health and election laws and standards. 07

4

2

3

Planning + Communications • Create partnerships between Boards of Election and relevan Municipal/ County / State agencies to develop site plan criteria that includes sanitation, disabled voter access, weather protection, and signage for voters, poll workers, and elections observers.

• Create an expansive communication plan to broadly publicize any/all

pandemic related restrictions and resulting polling protocols and election-day access, queuing, and health and comfort amenities offered to voters.

• Whenever possible, partner with cultural groups, nonpartisan civic

associations, schools, etc. to promote options and logistics, and to support general election activities.


Improv ing Access Develop Poll Location Access Enhancement Plans

Because some or all voting activities may take place outdoors, locations with limited footprints will require the creative use of the public right-ofway. Thus, regular voting location access plans may need to be altered to account for more pronounced changes to city streets and other means of access. If considering such changes, election boards should partner with local departments of transportation, public works, transit agencies, and / or poll location facility staff to develop a COVID-19 poll access plan. At a minimum, Each plan should focus on the following four things.

1

Analyze Adjacent Land Uses and Streets

All adjacent land uses and streets should be analyzed to ensure local stakeholder needs are taken into account, including deliveries, emergency services, resident access etc. Similarly, the role each street plays in the wider transportation network should be understood. Wherever possible, focus partial or full street closures on streets with lower volumes of traffic and optimally where public transportation routes do not travel and which do not contain hospitals, fire departments, or other essential services. Voting site parking lots, parks, playgrounds, or other public spaces may be used as needed to minimize coordination, especially among multiple government jurisdictions, e.g. City and State. Contact local stakeholders – community groups, residents, businesses, and other relevant institutions – to identify key obstacles or issues affecting design, programming, or street segment selection before implementing the voting access plan.

2 Accommodate All The Ways People May Arrive Access plans should consider all the ways people may arrive and respond accordingly by highlighting available resources or enhancing opportunities for people to access the polling location safely. In urban areas this may include but is not limited to considering those who walk, wheel, bicycle, scoot, skate, take public transportation, or use ride share/ride hail services. Temporary access and safety improvements may be as simple as employing crossing guards during all polling hours, or partnering with local bicycle coalition or bike sharing company to offer valet bicycle parking or free rides. Additionally, clearly designating pick-up/drop-off area for taxi service, ride hail providers, and access-a-ride / shuttle services will help voters keep their own cars at home. Finally, the addition of tempoary wayfinding to/from bus

In 2014 Minneapolis’ Metro provided free rides on election day. Photo: Runner1928

stops, bike share and train stations, and adjacent intersections should be provided, especially if normal voter access points have shifted in response to the pandemic.

3

Ensure ADA accessibility

Temporary street reconfigurations like partial or full street closures must be ADA accessible. This requirement impacts everything from building entrances to available sidewalk widths, to drop-off locations and sidewalk ramps. If necessary, designate secondary ADA-compliant routes or outdoor areas for voters who require universally accessible voter booths.

4

Monitor All Points and Means of Access

Allocate municipal staff and/or poll workers to monitor polling location access points so that any issues can be flagged and resolved as soon as possible. The following two pages offer a sample access plan, detailing typical elements as well as those that might be enhanced under a streets for voting plan. 08


Access Improvement Plan This sample plan identifies the location of existing poll access features relevant to in-person voting as well as the location for possible enhancements that improve the voter experience. Note, most of these enhancements are concentrated along the minor and secondary streets, a nod to the relative ease of doing so on streets with less vehicular traffic, which is also more pleasant for people queued in lines. Select improvements are visualized in more detail on the following page.

 Secondary Street

Secondary Street 

 

Major Street      



   



 







Minor Street

 

 

Existing Access Access Enhancements 09

See detail on Following Page




Access Enhancements Temporarily enhancing access to/from and around polling locations will assure voters that their needs have been considered and that their health and welllness matter as much as their vote.

2

Pick-Up / Drop-Off Zone

Pick-up / drop-off zones should be designated within close proximity to the voting queue and may be utilized by access-a-ride vans, taxis, ride hail companies, voting shuttles etc.

5

1

Poll Entrance

Bicycle Parking

If bicycle parking is not currently located near polling location /queue entrances, such facilities may be added temporarily. In some instances racks may be moved from other locations or local bicycle coalitions may be able to staff locations with an expected high turnout with bike corrals.

Poll entrances should be clearly marked, signed, and staffed. If not already ADA accessible, temporary means should be used to ensure poll access. Clear wayfinding and information signage should be placed in logical places to help people navigate to the back of the queue and to / from the polling location. All entrances should be staffed appropriately and include proper sanitation and safety measures.

10


Queuing Overv iew Research shows that how people feel while waiting in line matters more than the time they wait. To that end, one long snaking line is often perceived to be more tolerable than many short, individual lines where advancement feels less fair and predictable to participants. It would then seem that using more horizontal street space for queuing may reduce voter anxiety, as it allows for the overall footprint of voting activities to shrink. Reducing this footprint, along with providing average wait time information to voters, will result in a better experience for both poll workers and voters, causing less disruption to mobility, social, and economic activity on intersecting streets. The diagrams at right depict 100 queued voters distancing themselves at six feet apart. While all three options require the same amount of total square feet, each results in very different linear footprint. Repurposing existing street space (parking and travel lanes) can reduce the queue length by 2/3rds, allowing for supplemental health and comfort programming to further improve the voter experience. Wherever long lines are possible, election officials and their partners should pursue a more compact queuing footprint. This is especially true at poll sites that are bordered by streets with sidewalks cannot guarantee 12 feet of clear space or where sidewalks exist on only one side of the street.

11

Option 1 Sidewalk / Schoolyard Queue 600 linear feet

Option 2 Sidewalk + Parking Lane Queue 400 linear feet

Option 3 Sidewalk + Parking Lane + Travel Lane Queue 200 linear feet


Queuing Recommendations Queuing needs will vary greatly across urban environments. State, County, and City regulations combined with the fact that no single polling location, street, or neighborhood is like another will result in a wide variety of in-person voting conditions. Below are three recommendations for improving the queuing experience for voters.

1

Estimate Voter Turnout: Plan For The Most

Estimate maximum turnout to determine potential spatial needs and plan accordingly. While scenario playing, identify queue overflow locations for walk/bike/drive-up voters on an individual voting site level and ensure enough poll workers exist to manage the maximum condition. Wherever possible, shrink the queue footprint through the utilization of available sidewalk, street, park, parking lot, playground, or other adjacent open spaces.

2

Allocate Queuing Activ ities to Max imize Safety and Comfort

Physically separate any /all parking or pick-up drop-off areas from voters queuing on foot; enhance with additional comfort/safety, including low-cost, removable surface markings or vertical materials to delineate physical distancing; sanitation and comfort stations (port-a-potties, chairs, shade/weather protection etc. and signs to delineate physical distancing; provide sanitation stations throughout the site (bathrooms, voting machines, etc.)

3

Voters queue for over an hour in Brooklyn, NY (2008), long before physical distancing requirements. Photo: April Sikorski

Assign ‘Polling Ambassadors’ a Clear Role in the Queue: Communication

It’s not enough to station poll workers at the entrance of the polling location, ‘ambassadors’ should be tasked with working along the queue to answer questions, field concerns, issue sanitation protocols, and most importantly to communicate wait times. etc.

Voters queue for over an hour in Brooklyn, NY (2008), long before physical distancing requirements. CNN Wire, Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images).

12


Health + Comfort Summary Voting during a global pandemic mandates all local, county, and state health precautions must taken to limit the spread COVID-19. Sanitizer should be readily available; masks worn; physical distancing requirements made abundantly clear; and reporting/contract tracing practices operationalized should someone report symptons after they vote. Beyond safety, ensuring voters are not deterred by long queues will require a range of basic amenities, such as places to sit and rest, protection from the weather, water, bathrooms, and even entertainment such as music, poetry, and dance.

8 9

5 3

Finally, a key aspect of voting safely during a global pandemic is to identify which aspects of the voting process (e.g. registration, queuing, filing ballots, ballot dropoffs, etc.) may/shall be accommodated outside and which cannot. Beyond that, closely considering election day infrastructure needs for voters, poll workers, and election observers is paramount. The following nine elements may be used to facilitate safe, healthy, and comfortable voting.

1

Physical Distancing Markers

2

Health information sign

3

Sneeze guard

4

Sanitation station (sanitzer, w ipes, etc.)

5

Pop-up tent

6

Chair

7

Entertainment (music, spoke word etc.)

8

Port-a-potties

9

Garbage / recycling bins

1.

13

2 4 6 1

7


Suburban

Suburban areas feature a lower density of people and a higher concentration of open space than their urban counterparts. While streetside voting activity may be appropriate in some places, surface parking lots, regionserving parks, and campus-style school and government complexes may be adapted to meet physical distancing requirements.


Summary Election officials serving suburban areas may need to consider the temporary re-allocation of street and sidewalk space, as well as surface parking lots and adjacent civic spaces to facilitate some or all voting activities. General spatial and communication strategies for suburban environments are offered below, with more specific guidance for improving access, queuing, and health and comfort detailed in the pages that follow.

3 2

General Spatial Strategies 1

Repurpose one or more vehicular travel lanes along major or secondary streets to accomodate poll location access, and vehicular or in-person queuing;

2

Reconfigure adjacent streets and/or surface parking lots adjacent to the polling location to accommodate voter pick-up and drop-offs, as well as drive-thru or in-person voting.

3

4

4

1

Utilize internal or external street,sidewalks, or other available open spaces for in-person queuing; where possible utilize building breezeways, porticos, awnings or other architectural features that provide weather protection.

Planning + Communications • Create partnerships between local Board of Election and relevant

In all instances, manage pedestrian and vehicular flow so that queuing voters are provided dedicated separate space from non-voting travelers and passersby on other personal, academic, or professional business.

• Create and implement an expansive communication plan to broadly

Key Steps • Install temporary traffic barriers and signs along key streets and within parking lots.

• Empower municipal staff and/or poll workers to install, manage, and monitor barricades / queuing activity.

• Provide comfort amenities such as seating, shade, water etc. as needed. • Maintain access for emergency and public transit vehicles, as well as those carrying voters with disabilities.

• Ensure design and operational guidance complies with overall local, state, and national health and election laws and standards. 15

Municipal /County / State agencies to develop site plan criteria that includes sanitation, disabled voter access, weather protection, signage for voters, poll workers, and elections observers. publicize any/all pandemic related restrictions and resulting polling protocols and election-day access, queuing, and health and comfort amenities offered to voters.

• Partner with cultural groups, nonpartisan civic associations, schools, etc. to promote options and logistics,and to support general election activities.


Improv ing Access Develop Poll Location Access Enhancement Plans

Because some or all voting activities may take place outdoors, previous voter access plans may need to be altered to account for and coordinate changes to streets, parking lots, and other means of access. If your jurisdiction has chosen to facilitate outdoor voting, the local Board of Election should partner with the local transportation department, public works, transit agencies, and / or poll location facility staff (schools, fire departments, city hall, libraries etc.) to develop a COVID-19 access plan. At a minimum, each plan should include the following four steps.

1

Analyze Adjacent Land Uses and Streets

All adjacent land uses and streets should be analyzed to ensure local stakeholder needs are taken into account, including deliveries, emergency services, resident access etc. To do so, be sure to contact local stakeholders – community groups, residents, businesses, and other geographically relevant institutions – to identify key obstacles or issues that may impact design, programming, or street segment selection before implementing the voting access plan. The role each street plays in the wider transportation network should also be considered. Wherever possible, focus vehicular lane closures streets with lower traffic volumes and optimally those without public transportation routes, hospitals, fire departments, or other essential services. On-site parking lots, playgrounds, ball fields, or other public spaces may be used as needed to minimize coordination among multiple government agencies and jurisdictions, e.g. City and State.

2 Accommodate All The Ways People May Arrive Access plans should consider all the ways people may arrive and respond accordingly by highlighting available resources or enhancing opportunities for people to access the polling location safely. In suburban areas this may may primarily include motor vehicles, but should also account for those who walk, wheel, bicycle, scoot, skate, take public transportation, or use ride share/ride hail services. Temporary access and safety improvements may be as simple as employing crossing guards during all polling hours, or partnering with a local school bus contractor to offer rides for seniors or other discrete populations of voters. Additionally, clearly designating pick-up/drop-off areas for taxi service, ride hail providers, and access-a-ride / shuttle services will help voters keep their own cars at home. Finally, the addition of temporary

Democracy in the Park poll workers set up in 200 parks to register voters, answer questions about the voting process, and accept absentee ballots. Photo: City of Madison, WI

wayfinding to/from bus stops, adjacent intersections, and bike trails should be provided, especially if typical voter access points have shifted in response to the pandemic.

3

Ensure ADA accessibility

Temporary street reconfigurations like partial or full street closures must be ADA accessible. This requirement impacts everything from building entrances to available sidewalk widths, to drop-off locations and sidewalk ramps. If necessary, designate secondary ADA-compliant routes or outdoor areas for voters who require universally accessible voter booths.

4

Monitor All Points and Means of Access

Allocate municipal staff and/or poll workers to monitor polling location access points so that any issues can be flagged and resolved as soon as possible. The following two pages include a sample access plan, detailing typical elements as well as those that might be enhanced under a streets for voting plan. 16


Access Improvement Plan This sample plan identifies the location of existing poll access features relevant to in-person and drive-thru voting, as well as possible voter experience enhancements. Note, most of the existing and proposed enhancements are concentrated along a major street, a nod to the auto-oriented realities of suburban environments where most non-residential destinations are located along busy secondary or major thoroughfares. Accommodations must be made accordingly to support non-driving voters. Select improvements are visualized in more detail on the following page.

 





Secondary Street



 



 



Minor Street Major Street

 







 



      



  





Existing Access Access Enhancements 17

See detail on Following Page




Access Enhancements Temporarily enhancing access to/from and around polling locations will assure voters that their needs have been considered and that their health and welllness matter as much as their vote. Doing so for transit-dependent or populations who are too young, too old, or uninterested in owning a private automobile is of high importance, as poll access becomes more challenging for the poor where polling locations are spread further apart and owning a car is an assumption.

2

Pick-Up / Drop-Off / Queue Zone

Where in-person voting will occur inperson, prioritize entrances that are ADAcompliant and feature any architectural elements affording voters protection from the weather.

1 1

Traffic Management

Whether for parking, pick-up / drop-off, or drive-thru voting, facilitating safe vehicular access and requires clearly segregating pedestrians and poll workers from motor vehicles. It also means clarifying how vehicles negotiate conflict points and ensure all voters are safe as they access and depart the polling location.

Drive-Thru Voting

Streets, drive aisles, and parking lots may be reconfigured to enable drive-thru voting, ballot drop-off, and passenger pick-up / drop-off. Clear wayfinding and information signage should be placed at decision points and placed to help people walking, cycling, wheeling, and driving to safely access and participate in the election.

18


Queuing Overv iew Under normal circumstances, parking lots at suburban poll locations are used for just that; voters park on-site and enter the queue to cast their vote. However, if it’s legal, the creation of drive-thru or curbside voting option offers an appealing, physically distant, and weather-proof option for election officials and voters alike. However, it’s important to consider the potential negative impacts of a vehicular-based voting system, especially for the 11 million American households that cannot afford or choose not to own motor vehicles. As comfortable as they may be, queuing cars are spatially inefficient when compared to people on foot or in wheelchairs. Indeed, voters arriving by car at peak voting hours may easily overwhelm a site’s queuing / parking capacity. The average sedan is 15 feet in length so leaving just 10 feet between vehicles (front and back) yields a total of 35 feet of linear space per voting vehicle. Thus, what requires 600 linear feet for 100 voters on foot requires as much as 2500 linear feet, or 2/3rds of a mile in length, for the same number of people voting by car. Actively planning for and managing vehicular queues will result in a better experience for both poll workers and voters alike, leading to less disruption to other roadway users, and mitigate unintentional social and economic impacts within the surrounding area. This is especially true in locations that can offer both in-person voting as well as drive-thru voting options over the voting period. The diagrams at right depict 115 vehicles under two scenarios. The first scenario is the “business as usual” approach whereby voters oversubscribe the voting location’s available parking supply, which results in people parking opportunistically and before accessing the queue. The second scenario shows a majority of available parking spaces repurposed for drive-thru voting, leaving only 16 available parking spaces for poll workers etc. but allowing a more orderly process so long as upstream traffic impacts are planned for and managed. 19

Scenario 1 Business as Usual 115 cars | 68 parking spaces Indoor Voting

Scenario 2 115 cars | 16 parking spaces Indoor and Drive-Thru Voting


Queuing Recommendations Queuing needs will vary greatly across suburban environments. State, County, and Municipal regulations combined with endless polling location, street configuration, and neighborhood characteristics will result in a wide variety of voting conditions. Below are three recommendations for improving the queuing experience for drive-thru voters.

1

Assess On / Off -Street Vehicular Queuing Capacity and Plan Accordingly

In order to design an effective and safe drive-thru voting experience, election officials should work closely with transportation planning and event management professionals to assess any given site’s total vehicular queuing capacity. While traditional morning and evening “peak” voting patterns may flatten in 2020, using maximum estimates will help determine any/all worst case scenarios so that election officials understand at what point queuing activities begin to not only impact the surrounding neighborhood and transportation system, but more importantly, the voter experience. The assesmment should take into account available off-street space within parking lots, bus drop-off zones, and drive aisles, as well as available on-street space. This will determine how many cars will be able to queue along adjacent streets if /when necessary. In some instances, peak queuing activity will require re-purposing available parking or vehicular lane space for queuing activities. Finally, in some instances it may be helpful to deploy traffic control officers to help manage streets and intersections that get tied up with queuing voters.

2

Max imize Safety and Comfort

While those sitting in their automobiles will be comfortable and protected from the elements, it will be necessary to physically separate drive-thru voting activities from poll workers, carfree voters who may be accessing the queue on foot, and from the rest of the traveling public. Additionally, sanitation, water, and port-a-potties should be made available to poll workers and voters alike. Additionally, a dignified place to engage with walk-up voting should be provided outdoors if indoor voting is deemed too risky or logistically challenging.

3

Parking lots may be easily converted to drive-thru voting centers, however transportation and election officials should beware of the upstream impacts extensive queuing may have on the surrounding neighborhood, wider transportation network, and most importantly, on the voter experience.

Assign Workers a Clear Role in the Queue: Communication

Assigning enough poll workers to help manage the expected peak hours will ensure a smoother election process for voters and officials. Indeed, it’s not enough to station poll workers at actual voting booths. Rather, poll workers should also be tasked with walking along the vehicular queue to answer questions, field concerns, issue sanitation protocol, distribute sanitation products as needed, and to help communicate wait times to voters who may grow impatient. In some cases, this may mean sending workers off-site to help disseminate information to voters queued off-site. 20


Health + Comfort Summary Voting during a global pandemic mandates all local, county, and state health precautions must be followed so as to limit the spread COVID-19. Sanitizer should be readily available; masks worn; physical distancing requirements made clear; and reporting/contract tracing practices operationalized should someone report symptons after they vote or work the polls. Beyond these immediate health and safety, voters in suburban areas may experience the widest range of health and comfort needs. At in-person voting locations, the range of needs will not be much different than those in urban areas. Thus, this guidance is focused on a reduced number of health and comfort provisions approprite for drive-thru voting locations and are focuse as much on the voter as they are on poll workers. The following six elements are but a few ways safe, healthy, and comfortable voting practices can be instilled in suburban or other drive-thru voting environments.

1

Physical distancing markers

2

Voter check-in / health information sign

3

Sneeze guard

4

Sanitation station (sanitizer, w ipes, etc.)

5

Pop-up tent

6

Crossing guard

1.

5

4 3

1

2

6

21


Rural

Rural areas feature a low density of people and a high concentration of natural or cultivated open space. In many instances, rural voters must travel longer distances to vote, as poll locations are increasingly centralized into fewer locations, often within larger campus-style school and regional government complexes.


Summary Election officials serving rural areas may need to utilize surface parking lots and other adjacent open spaces to facilitate some or all voting activities. General spatial and communication strategies for rural environments are offered below, with more specific guidance for improving access, queuing, and health and comfort detailed in the pages that follow.

General Spatial Strategies 1

Reconfigure surface parking lots, ballfields, lawns, or other open spaces adjacent to polling locations to better accommodate drive-thru or inperson voting.

2

Utilize internal or external sidewalks for in-person voter queuing; where possible utilize building breezeways, porticos, awnings or other architectural features that provide weather protection.

3

4

Manage pedestrian and vehicular flow so that queuing voters are provided dedicated and physically separate space from non-voting passersby. Provide clear wayfinding and informational signage that directs voters to polling locations.

Key Steps • Install temporary traffic barriers and signs along approach roads and within parking lots.

• Empower municipal staff and/or poll workers to install, manage, and monitor barricades / queuing activity.

• Provide comfort amenities such as seating, shade, water etc. as needed for in-person voting.

• Maintain access for emergency vehicles, school buses, shuttle vehicles, and designate priority parking spaces for voters with disabilities.

• Ensure design and operational guidance complies with overall local, state, and national health and election laws and standards.

23

2 3

1

4

Planning + Communications • Create partnerships between Boards of Election and relevant Municipal / County / State agencies to develop site plan criteria that includes sanitation, disabled voter access, weather protection, and signage for voters, poll workers, and elections observers.

• Create an expansive communication plan to broadly publicize any/all

pandemic related restrictions and resulting polling protocols and election-day access, queuing, and health and comfort amenities offered to voters.

• Partner with cultural groups, nonpartisan civic associations, schools, etc. to promote options and logistics, and to support general election activities.


Improv ing Access Develop Poll Location Access Enhancement Plans

Because some or all voting activities may take place outdoors, previous voter access plans may need to be altered to account for and coordinate changes to roadways, parking lots, and other means of access. If your jurisdiction has chosen to facilitate outdoor voting, election officals should partner with the local or county public works department and / or poll location facility staff (schools, fire departments, city hall, libraries etc.) to develop a COVID-19 access plan. At a minimum, each plan should include the following four steps.

1

Analyze Adjacent Land Uses and Roads

Contact local stakeholders – community organizations, residents, businesses, and other geographically relevant institutions – to identify any key obstacles or issues that may impact the design or programming of outdoor voting activities. The role any/all adjacent roads play in the wider transportation network should also be considered, although this is less of an issue in rural environments. On-site parking lots, playgrounds, ball fields, or other public spaces may be used as needed to minimize coordination among multiple government agencies and jurisdictions, e.g. Township and State.

2 Accommodate All The Ways People May Arrive Access plans in rural areas may be the simplest, but they should still consider all the ways people may arrive and respond accordingly by highlighting available resources or enhancing opportunities for people to access the polling location safely. In rural areas this may may primarily include motor vehicles, but should also account for those who walk, wheel, bicycle, scoot, and even skate along bike trails or local/regional walking paths, take public transportation, or use ride share/ride hail services, or carpool. Temporary access and safety improvements may be as simple as employing crossing guards during all polling hours, or partnering with a local school bus contractor to offer rides for seniors or other discrete populations of voters. Additionally, clearly designating pick-up/drop-off areas for taxi service, ride hail providers, and access-a-ride / shuttle services will help voters keep their own cars at home. Finally, the addition of temporary wayfinding to/from bus stops, adjacent intersections, and bike trails should be provided, especially if typical voter access points have shifted in response to the pandemic.

A Lewis County (Washington) ballot drop box. Photo: Joe Mabel

3

Ensure ADA accessibility

Temporary roadway or parking lot reconfigurations must be ADA accessible. This requirement impacts everything from building entrances to available sidewalk widths, to drop-off locations, sidewalk ramps, and outdoor voter booths. If necessary, designate secondary ADA-compliant routes or outdoor areas dedicated voters who require universally accessible voter booths.

4

Monitor All Points and Means of Access

Allocate municipal staff and/or poll workers to monitor polling location access points so that any issues can be flagged and resolved as soon as possible. The following two pages include a sample access plan, detailing typical elements as well as those that might be enhanced under a streets for voting plan.

24


Access Improvement Plan This sample plan identifies the location of existing poll access features relevant to in-person and drive-thru voting, as well as voter experience enhancements. Note, most of the existing and proposed enhancements are concentrated internal to the voting site, a nod to the to the self-contained nature of rural environments where most adjacent roadways are not likely to be used for much other than driving. Select improvements are visualized in more detail on the following page.





 Minor Farm Road Major Road

 

 

 

 



 





Existing Access Access Enhancements 25

See detail on Following Page

 



Secondary Road




Access Enhancements Temporarily enhancing access to/from and around polling locations will assure voters that their needs have been considered and that their health and welllness matter as much as their vote.

5

2

Pick-Up / Drop-Off Zone

Pick-up / drop-off zones should be designated within close proximity to the building entrance/ voting queue and may be utilized by access-a-ride vans, taxis, ride hail companies, voting shuttles, carpools etc.

1

Wayfinding + Informational Signs

Clear wayfinding and informational signs will help drivers and pedestrians navigate an unfamiliar set up within what otherwise may be a famiiar setting.

Drive-Thru Voting

Streets, drive aisles, and parking lots may be reconfigured to enable drivethru voting, ballot drop-off, and passenger pick-up / dropoff. Clear wayfinding and information signage should be placed at decision points and placed to help people walking, cycling, wheeling, and driving to safely access and participate in the election.

26


Queuing Under normal circumstances, parking lots at rural poll locations are used for just that; voters park on-site and enter the queue to cast their vote inside. However, at this moment in time, the use of drive-thru or curbside voting offers an appealing, physically distant, and weather-proof option for election officials and voters alike. However, it’s important to consider the potential negative impacts of a vehicular-based voting system, especially for the 11 million American households that cannot afford or choose not to own motor vehicles. Queuing cars are spatially inefficient when compared to people on foot or in wheelchairs. Indeed, voters arriving by car at peak voting hours may easily overwhelm a site’s queuing capacity. The average sedan is 15 feet in length so leaving just 10 feet between vehicles (front and back) yields a total of 35 feet of linear space per voting vehicle. Thus, what requires 600 linear feet for 100 voters on foot requires as much as 2500 linear feet, or 2/3rds of a mile in length, for the same number of people voting by car. Actively planning for and managing vehicular queues will result in a better experience for both poll workers and voters alike, leading to less disruption to other roadway users, and mitigate unintentional social and economic impacts. This is especially true in locations that can offer both in-person voting as well as drivethru voting options over the voting period. The diagrams at right depict 50 queued people, either voting in-person only, drive-thru only, or within a hybrid scenario where both options would be available. The third and final option, if feasible, would likely present the best option, so long as wait time information was provided in real-time so that voters could make decisions about what works best for them. 27

Option 1 In-Person Voting Only 50 Queued People | 300 Linear Feet

Option 2 Drive-Thru Voting Only 50 Queued Vehicles | 1,750 Linear Feet

Option 3 In-Person + Drive-Thru Voting 30 Queued Vehicles | 20 Queued People 1,170 linear feet


Queuing Queuing needs will vary across rural environments. Voter turnout and State/County/and Municipal regulations, combined with the fact that no single polling location, street, or neighborhood is like another will result in a wide variety of in-person voting conditions. Below are three recommendations for improving the queuing experience for voters.

1

Estimate Voter Turnout: Plan For The Most

Estimate maximum turnout to determine potential spatial needs and plan accordingly. While scenario planning, identify queue overflow locations for walk/bike/drive-up voters on an individual voting site level and ensure enough poll workers, crossing guards, and traffic management capacity exists to manage the maximum condition. Wherever possible, shrink the queue footprint through the utilization of available sidewalk, street, park, parking lot, playground, or other adjacent open spaces.

2

Allocate Queuing Activ ities to Max imize Safety and Comfort

Lebanon, OH voters queue for the start of early voting. Photo: Dean Beeler

Physically separate any /all parking or pick-up drop-off areas from voters queuing on foot; enhance with additional comfort/safety, including low-cost, removable surface markings or vertical materials to delineate physical distancing; sanitation and comfort stations (port-a-potties, chairs, shade/weather protection etc. and signs to delineate physical distancing; provide sanitation stations throughout the site (bathrooms, voting machines, etc.)

3

Assign ‘Polling Ambassadors’ a Clear Role in the Queue:

It’s not enough to station poll workers at the entrance of the polling location, ‘ambassadors’ should be tasked with working along the queue to answer questions, field concerns, issue sanitation protocols, and most importantly to communicate wait times.

28


Health + Comfort Summary Voting during a global pandemic mandates all local, county, and state health precautions must taken to limit the spread COVID-19. Sanitizer should be readily available; masks worn; physical distancing requirements made abundantly clear; and reporting/contract tracing practices operationalized should someone report symptons after they vote. Beyond safety, ensuring voters are not deterred by long queues will require a range of basic amenities, such as places to sit and rest, protection from the weather, access to water, bathrooms, and community-affirming entertainment such as music, poetry, and dance. Finally, a key aspect of voting safely at this time is to identify which aspects of the voting process (e.g. registration, queuing, filing ballots, ballot drop-offs, etc.) may/shall be accommodated outside and which cannot. Beyond that, closely considering election day infrastructure needs for voters, poll workers, and election observers is paramount. The drawing at right depicts eight ways to facilitate safe, healthy, and comfortable voting.

1

Physical distancing markers

2

Garbage can

3

Voter check-in / health information sign

4

Pop-up tent

5

Chair

6

Pick-up / drop-off zone

7

Recycling bins

8

Crossing guard

29

7

4

5 2

6

1

8 3


Early voting lines, Charlotte, NC Photo: James Willamor


3. Material + Human Resources


Introduction A wide range of low-cost, off-the-shelf items can be utilized to facilitate outdoor voting. This chapter includes an overview of 28 materials and 5 specific poll worker roles that support Streets for Voting activities. By no means exhaustive, the pages ahead offer some common material guidance – their use, applications, cost range, sources, and related tips – that should start as a starting point for procuring the materials election officials will need to organize safe, healthy, accessible elections.





With just weeks left until the 2020 presidential election we know those of you who have made it this far into the Guide do not have much time, and that government procurement proceses can be lengthy and burdensome for staff. Thus, the following four basic strategies for procuring materials may be considered. CHALK

Key Material Procurement Strategies 1 Borrow : The best procurement strategy is often one that involves no money at all.

While Boards of Election are not known for having a well-spring of materials on hand, everything from traffic cones, walkie-talkies, tables and chairs, and bike racks may be obtained from other municipal departments or agencies. So go ahead and call or email your colleagues at public works, parks and recreation, education, or the library system to see what material resources they have on hand that be used for facilitating a safe and healthy election.

2

Partner: Non-profit and community-based organizations are great partners and often supported by funders, donors, and community members who can facilitate the procurement and use of materials. While local and state election laws must be followed closely, there certainly is a role the non-profit sector can play in helping Election Boards carry out the election.

3

Leverage: Municipalities usually have a roster of pre-approved, on-call contractors who may be able to not only provide technical assistance, but use materials expense budgets to support Streets for Voting efforts. Leveraging such a resource can save municipal staff time and procurement headaches

4

Buy: The last resort is to buy what you need. In many instances, municipalities have pre-approved vendors who offer discounts and faster procurement timelines. Hardware stores, traffic supply companies, and online catalogue’s like Grainger are often on the pre-approved list and can help get many materials to you within a matter of days.

IN

22 M

 

32


Access and Queuing

FREE-STANDING A-FRAME SIGN

VARIABLE MESSAGE BOARD SIGN

COROPLAST SIGN

USE: Wayfinding or information

USE: Wayfinding or information

USE: Wayfinding or information

APPLICATIONS: Voter queuing (by foot or car) | bus stops | bike parking | voter check-in | intersections | entertainment |

APPLICATIONS: Voter queuing (by car) | traffic management

APPLICATIONS: Voter queuing (by foot or car) | bus stops | bike parking | voter checkin | intersections | entertainment |

COST: $50 - $150 per A-frame (coroplast sign not included) SOURCE: Print centers, sign shops, event rental companies TIPS: To ensure safety and function, anchor A-Frames with weights, sandbags, bike locks or similar. Check in with various city departments or poll location facilities staff, as A-frame signs may be borrowed rather than rented or purchased. 33

COST: $200 per day SOURCES: Department of transportation or public works, traffic supply stores, equipment rental companies TIPS: Less appropriate for urban locations where most people will arrive to the poll location by foot, transit etc.

COST: $20 per sign SOURCE: Print centers, sign shops, event rental companies TIPS: Affix signs with zip ties to existing sign posts to ensure safety and function, as well as ease of installation and removal.


 



EX ISTING SIGNS

TRAFFIC CONE

FREE-STANDING DELINEATOR

USE: Information

USE: Vehicular traffic control, pedestrian or vehicular queuing, enhanced bike access

USE: Vehicular traffic control, pedestrian or vehicular queuing

APPLICATIONS: Partial or full street closures | sidewalk queue management

APPLICATIONS: Sidewalk or vehicular queue management

COST: $20 per cone

COST: $35 per delineator

SOURCE: Hardware stores, construction supply companies, department of public works

SOURCE: Hardware stores, construction supply companies, department of public works

TIPS: Use traffic cones to prevent, filter, or direct access and/or manage queuing at poll locations. Fewer cities keep cones on hand than you’d expect; In many parts of the country paving season will be over so contractors may be willing to donate the temporary use of their traffic cones.

TIPS: Consider transport needs and capacity; delineators do not nest as easily as traffic cones. Contractors may be willing to donate the temporary use of their traffic cones.

APPLICATIONS: Voter queuing (by foot or car) | voter check-in COST: $0 SOURCE: Poll location (schools, city hall, library etc.) TIPS: Inquire to ensure enough individual letters are available to display your message; may be used as infrastructure for wrapping larger banners or other forms of signage.

34


FRENCH BARRICADE

TRAFFIC BARRICADE

TEMPORARY CURB RAMP

USE: Vehicular traffic control, pedestrian or vehicular queuing

USE: Vehicular traffic control

USE: Accessibility

APPLICATIONS: Partial or full street closures; vehicular queue management

APPLICATIONS: Pedestrian or wheelchair curb ramp

COST: $40 - $105 per barricade

COST: $50 - $200 per ramp

SOURCE: Departments of public works or transportation; construction supply companies; road construction contractors

SOURCE: Departments of public works; construction supply companies; event rental companies

TIPS: Traffic barricades come in a few different sizes and may double as scaffolding for informational or wayfinding signage.

TIPS: Lightweight, easy to deploy, suitable for wheelchair, scooter users, and people on foot. Check dimensions carefully to ensure ADA-compliance. May need to be epoxied or otherwise secured to the curb to prevent being dislodged.

APPLICATIONS: Partial or full street closures | sidewalk queue management COST: $75 - $110 per barricade SOURCE: Departments of public works; police department; construction supply companies; event rental companies TIPS: Difficult to move around in bulk; French barricades are not reflective so consider how and where they are used at night around polling locations.

35


CHALK

BIKE RACKS

BIKE VALET RAIL

SPRAY CHALK

USE: Voter access

USE: Voter access

USE: Pavement or sidewalk markings

APPLICATIONS: Bicycle parking

APPLICATIONS: Staffed bicycle parking

COST: $80 - $500 per rack

COST: $150- $250 per rail

APPLICATIONS: Vehicular traffic control; pedestrian or vehicular queuing

SOURCE: Departments of public works or transportation; street furniture companies; bike parking suppliers

SOURCE: Departments of public works or transportation; event organizers; local, regional, or state bicycle advocacy organizations.

TIPS: Use existing racks wherever possible; “inverted-u” or “schoolyard” racks often come on rails and while cumbersome, can be deployed on a temporary or interim basis to meet specific poll access needs.

TIPS: Use to cut down on traffic congestion and increase attendance. Assign a poll worker or facilities manager, or partner with bicycle advocacy organization to manage the bike valet service.

COST: $4 - $10 per can SOURCE: Hardware stores; TIPS: For outdoor use only; use for temporary lane striping or 6’ physical distancing markings). 6oz. yield up to 80 linear feet; pressure wash to remove or allow to fade over time with exposure to traffic, rain, sun etc.

36


Health + Comfort

DUCT TAPE

FOIL-BACKED TRAFFIC TAPE

CHAIR

USE: Pavement or sidewalk markings

USE: Pavement Markings

USE: Poll worker and voter seating

APPLICATIONS: Voter queuing (by foot)

APPLICATIONS: Voter access or queuing (by car or bike)

APPLICATIONS: Check-in desk, deputy, inspector, clerk, and ballot distribution tables | voter queue | Bike valet

COST: $3 - $10 per roll SOURCE: Hardware stores TIPS: Use duct tape to quickly and cheaply designate 6’ physical distancing markings, as well as to re-inforce the direction of pedestrian movement and / or delimitation of space.

37

COST: $50 - $150 / per roll SOURCE: Traffic supply companies TIPS: Use foil-backed traffic tape for temporary roadway or parking lot striping. Will not hold up to vehicular traffic, especially turning vehicles for much longer than a week.

COST: $8 - $50 SOURCE: Event rental companies, churches, government agencies, schools, libraries etc. TIPS: , Use poll location facility’s existing chairs or procure from an event rental company if supply is low; facilitate routine and proper sanitation before and after each use. Folding chairs will be easiest to transport from one location to another.


FOLDING TABLE

10’ x 10’ TENT

SUN UMBRELLA

USE: Support for materials and tasks

USE: Weather protection

USE: Weather protection

APPLICATIONS: Check-in desk, deputy, inspector, clerk, and ballot distribution tables

APPLICATIONS: Voter queuing | voter check-in | voting machine protection | temporary pick-up/drop-off zones | unsheltered bus stops | bike valet | entertainment

APPLICATIONS: Voter queuing | voter check-in | temporary pick-up/drop-off zones | unsheltered bus stops | bike valet | entertainment

COST: $30 - $100 SOURCE: Event rental companies, churches, government agencies, schools, libraries etc. TIPS: Use poll location facility’s existing tables or procure from an event rental company if supply is low; facilitate routine and proper sanitation before and after each use.

COST: $50 - $250 SOURCE: Hardware stores, event rental companies, other municipal departments TIPS: Tents come in various sizes, select as needed. To ensure safety and function, anchor tents with weights, sandbags, or similar; may be aligned end-to-end for continuous protection or used at discrete locations.

COST: $50 - $300 SOURCE: Hardware stores, other municipal deprtments TIPS: To ensure safety and function, anchor umbrella with weights, sandbags, or similar.

38


UMBRELLA STAND

RAIN PONCHO

OFFICE TRAILER

USE: Weather protection

USE: Weather protection

USE: Storage and Protection

APPLICATIONS: Voter queuing (by foot) | bus stops | Poll entrances

APPLICATIONS: Voter queuing

APPLICATIONS: Polling equipment | sanitation and other supplies | Ballot collection | Communications

COST: $20 - $100 SOURCE: Home goods stores; hardware stores TIPS: Place umbrella stands underneath tents or at building entrances for use by queued voters; sanitize umbrellas after each use if provided for queued voters.

39

COST: $.50 - $10 SOURCE: Department stores, sporting goods stores TIPS: In case of bad weather, distribute disposable ponchos to mobile poll workers and the voting public. Trash bags can also work in a pinch.

COST: $100 - $500 per month rental fee SOURCE: Sales and Rental companies, other municipal departments TIPS: Borrow trailers from existing partners whenever possible.


PLEX IGLASS SNEEZE GUARDS

HAND SANITIZER STATIONS

TRASH CAN

USE: Transmission barrier

USE: Personal sanitation - hand sanitizer, paper towels, disposable gloves, face masks etc.

USE: Trash disposal and / or recycling

APPLICATIONS: Check-in desk I Voting machine administration desks COST: $40 - $100 SOURCE: Hardware stores, TIPS: Use freestanding sneeze guards. For outdoor applications use double side tape or similar to temporarily secure it to the table so that wind gusts do not knock it over; can be fashioned with wood and saran wrap if need be.

APPLICATIONS: Voter queuing (by foot or car) | voter check-in | poll worker health and comfort station COST: $50 - $250 SOURCE: Stores, government agencies, non-profit organizations, schools etc. TIPS: Proper and consistent use of sanitation products reduces the chance of spreading infectious bacteria and viruses. Assign a poll worker or facilities manager to monitor sanitizer stations so they can be re-stocked as needed.

APPLICATIONS: Voter queuing (by foot or car) | bus stops | voter check-in | sanitation stations COST: $15 - $60 SOURCE: Hardware stores, government agencies, schools etc. TIPS: Trash and recycling cans or bins should be borrowed from existing sources wherever possible; for in-person voting, place cans at regular intervals for trash disposal and assign a poll worker or facilities manager the task of monitoring and removing trash as needed. 40


Communication

RECYCLING STATION

PORT-A-POTTIES

WALKIE TALKIES

USE: Recycling paper, glass, plastic etc.

USE: Portable bathroom

USE: Communication between poll workers and / or facilities managers

APPLICATIONS: Voter queuing (by foot or car) | bus stops | pick-up / drop-off zones | voter check-in | sanitation stations

APPLICATIONS: Voter queuing (by foot or car) |

COST: $50 - $250 SOURCE: Hardware stores, government agencies, non-profit organizations, schools etc. TIPS: Recycling stations or bins should be borrowed from existing sources wherever possible; for in-person voting, place stations at regular intervals and assign a poll worker or facilities manager the task of monitoring and removing as needed. 41

COST: $40 - $100 SOURCE: Event organizers, Waste Service, government agencies, non-profit organizations, schools etc. TIPS: Use when facility bathrooms are not available or close.

APPLICATIONS: Any poll worker roles where communication to others will be required (queue management, poll watchers, traffic management etc.) COST: $20 - $60 SOURCE: Hardware stores, electronic stores, police departments, other municipal departments TIPS: Borrow existing walkie talkies from other municipal departments wherever possible; Ensure a clear poll worker communications plan and protocol is in place prior to the election.


Human Resources

IN

22 M

POLL WORKER: WAIT-TIME MANAGER

POLL WORKER: ACCESS AND QUEUING MONITOR

POLL WORKER: INSPECTOR / ASSISTANT CLERK ETC.

USE: Voter information

USE: Voter logistics

USE: Voter check-in and assistance

APPLICATIONS: Voter queuing (by foot or car)

APPLICATIONS: Voter queuing (by foot or car) | Voter access

COST: $5 (dry erase board)

COST: N/A

APPLICATIONS: Check-in desk I Polling stations, Deputy, Inspector, Cleck, and Ballot distribution tables

SOURCE: Volunteer poll workers

SOURCE: Volunteer poll workers

TIPS: Communicating expected wait-times to queued voters will ease tension and set clear expectations, providing a smoother experience for all.

TIPS: Deploy access and queuing monitors to help manage logistics and report key issues to help maintain a smooth voting experience for all.

COST: N/A SOURCE: Volunteer poll workers TIPS: Prepare all poll workers for dynamics associated with managing election activities that are partially or fully outdoors (weather, vehicular queuing logistics etc.) and establish a clear protocol for troubleshooting potential issues. 42


 

POLL WORKER: SANITATION

CROSSING GUARD

ENTERTAINER / PERFORMER

USE: Voter check in and assistance

USE: Traffic control and management

USE: Entertainment

APPLICATIONS: Voter queuing (on foot and by car) | voter check-in | voting booths, machines etc.

APPLICATIONS: Intersections adjacent to or within proximity of the polling location.

APPLICATIONS: Voter queuing | poll exit

COST: N/A SOURCE: Volunteer poll workers TIPS: Make sure sanitation workers have plenty of supplies nearby, clear communication protocols, and ability to distribute supplies / facilitate sanitation.

43

COST: $15/hr SOURCE: Departments of public works or transportation; police department TIPS: Crossing guards can be deployed to help pedestrians safely cross the street at key locations and manage traffic flow. Where drive-thru voting occurs, peak times may cause vehicular back-ups into intersections upstream from polling location. Develop and implement a traffic management plan accordingly.

COST: $100 - $500/hr SOURCE: Local arts and entertainment organizations; talent bookers TIPS: Some entertainment or performers may be willing to donate their time given the cause. Ensure performance can be heard but that volume is appropriate for essential voting activities and surrounding neighborhood.


A voting rights march. Photo: Flickr User Michael Fleshman


4. We’ r e Her e For You!


We’re Here For You! Technical Assistance Application

Name Zip Code Email

Instructions: Download, fill out, and return to aren@streetplans.org. Or, simply access the survey online here:

Identify your role in your community Election Official Municipal/Public Works/Transportation Official Voting Rights Advocate

Is your community of concern minority-majority? Yes No I’m not sure

Other (please specify)

Have the number of polling locations in your community been reduced due to COVID-19? Yes No, but polling locations have recently been reduced in our community for other reasons No I’m not sure

Our community could use technical assistance w ith: Voter Access Plans Voter Queuing Health and Comfort All or some of the above Other (please specify)


5. Sources


Sources Smith Island Residents Won’t Have To Travel To Mainland To Vote, Lawmaker Says, Maryland Matters, https://www. marylandmatters.org/blog/smith-island-residents-wonthave-to-travel-to-mainland-to-vote-lawmaker-says/, Accessed October 4th, 2020. List of Coronavirus-Related Restrictions in Every State, Dena Rough, AARP, https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/ government-elections/info-2020/coronavirus-staterestrictions.html#:~:text=People%20are%20encouraged%20 to%20maintain,encouraged%20to%20stay%20at%20home, Accessed October 2nd, 2020. ADA Checklist for Polling Place, US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, https://www.ada.gov/votingchecklist. pdf, Accessed October 3rd, 2020

Worlds Apart: Urban and Rural Voting, Michael D. Hernandez, The Canvass: States and Election Reform, https://www.ncsl. org/Documents/legismgt/elect/Canvass_Oct_2014_No_52. pdf, Accessed October 5th 2020. The 2018 Voter Experience, The Bipartisan Policy Center, https://bipartisanpolicy.org/report/the-2018-votingexperience/, Accessed October 2nd 2020 Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery, NACTO, https:// nacto.org/publication/streets-for-pandemic-responserecovery/, Accessed October 4th 2020 20 Ways Cities Can Promote Safe and Effective Elections in November, Danielle Root, Center for American Progress, https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/democracy/ reports/2020/08/17/489534/20-ways-cities-can-promotesafe-effective-elections-november/, Accessed October 5th, 2020.

Haynes: Wisconsin’s election may have been ‘ridiculous’ but those who braved coronavirus to vote were anything but, David D. Haynes, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, https://www. jsonline.com/story/news/solutions/2020/04/08/wisconsinelection-ridiculous-voters-who-braved-coronavirus-linesinspiring-vote-primary/2966298001/, Accessed September 25th, 2020.

The Voting Disaster Ahead Intentional voter suppression and unintentional suppression of the vote will collide in November, Adam Harris, The Atlantic, https://www. theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/06/voter-suppressionnovembers-looming-election-crisis/613408/, Accessed September 24th, 2020.

Recommendation: Keep using schools as polling places, Mike Kennedy, American School & University, https:// www.asumag.com/facilities-management/maintenanceoperations/article/20851548/recommendation-keep-usingschools-as-polling-places, Accessed September 29th, 2020.

Democrats are twice as likely to fear voting in person as Republicans during the coronavirus pandemic, Nicole Lyn Pesce, Market Watch, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/ democrats-are-twice-as-likely-to-fear-in-person-voting-asrepublicans-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic-2020-08-04, Accessed September 30, 2020.

What really drives you crazy about waiting in line (it actually isn’t the wait at all), Ana Swanson, The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/ wp/2015/11/27/what-you-hate-about-waiting-in-line-isntthe-wait-at-all/, Accessed October 4th, 2020.

48


Profile for The Street Plans Collaborative

Streets for Voting: A Guide for Improving the Pandemic Voting Experience  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded