According to the results of a recent poll that Healthline Media commissioned, many people in the United States are worried about having exposure to the new coronavirus if they go out to vote on election day. Read on to discover what else the poll found.
All data and statistics are based on publicly available data at the time of publication. Some information may be out of date. Visit our coronavirus hub for the most recent information on COVID-19.
As we draw ever closer to the presidential election in the U.S., which is due to take place in the middle of a pandemic, many questions emerge about how people currently feel about health and voting.
For instance, how worried are voters about the risks to health that they might encounter by reporting to their polling stations during a pandemic?
What factors might contribute to these worries, and are they more of an issue in some demographic groups than others?
To get a clearer picture of the electorate’s health and safety concerns regarding voting during the COVID-19 pandemic, Healthline Media recently commissioned a poll asking U.S. individuals the questions we outlined above.
If you would like to check your registration status or register to vote, we have added some useful links at the bottom of this article.
For more advice on COVID-19 prevention and treatment, visit our coronavirus hub.
Healthline Media commissioned the Harris Poll to conduct the survey. It took place online — between September 9 and September 11, 2020 — and a total of 2,059 U.S. adults responded.
Its results indicate that 68% of respondents are somewhat or very concerned that they or their family members may have exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, when visiting the polling station on election day.
However, when it came to disaggregating the data, it became apparent that males were more likely than females to express concern that their significant other might have exposure to the new coronavirus by voting in person.
More specifically, 47% of the male respondents said that they have this worry, compared with 34% of the female respondents.
In terms of people who reported living with a health condition, as many as 71% agreed with the idea that the results of the 2020 presidential election will impact them more than the outcomes of past elections.
By comparison, only 57% of the respondents without a health condition agreed with this statement.
The survey also revealed a generational gap within the group of respondents living with a health condition.
According to the final results, 75% of Gen X respondents (adults aged 40–55 years) with a health condition said they felt that the outcome of the present election will affect them more than the results of past elections.
Among Gen Z respondents (adults aged 18–23 years) living with a health condition, 55% felt the same way.
Among the respondents without any health conditions, there was a similar generational gap. Indeed, 59% of Gen X respondents felt that the results of the current election will affect them more than those of past elections, and 39% of healthy Gen Z respondents said the same.
The survey also revealed some other noteworthy results.
For instance, among Millennials (the generation between Gen X and Gen Z), 53% of those living with a health condition said that they were concerned about having exposure to the coronavirus while voting this November. On the other hand, 45% of those without a health condition reported the same.
Baby Boomers (adults aged 56 years and over) with a health condition were more often concerned about a potential spike in coronavirus cases in the U.S. after election day than those without a health condition — 67% versus 57%, respectively.
Finally, when disaggregating the data by ethnicity, it became apparent that 78% of Black respondents with a health condition and 76% of Hispanic respondents with a health condition were worried about a potential spike in COVID-19 cases following election day.
Fewer white respondents with a health condition (68%) reported having this concern.
For information on how to vote safely, download our Safe Voting Guide here:
To check your voter registration status, click here to visit the website of VoteAmerica, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to increasing voter turnout. They can also help you register to vote, vote by mail, request an absentee ballot, or find your polling place.