PSA: Don’t disinfect or microwave your mail-in ballot, election officials say

This story is part of Elections 2020, PJDM’s coverage of the run-up to voting in November.

Some voters, apparently fearful about contracting COVID-19 from surfaces, are ruining their mail-in paper ballots by disinfecting them. Voters have introduced in additional than 100 broken ballots to the registrar’s workplace, KCRA-TV reporter Stephanie Lin reviews from Sacramento County in California — and at the least one particular person tried to kill potential germs by placing a poll in a microwave oven. 

“Do not do that if you need your vote to depend,” Lin tweeted alongside a photograph of a smeared poll stamped SPOILED. Lin additionally shared a photograph of a poll that appeared to point out a burn mark.

Ballots despatched to voters previous to Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. three had been processed by machine weeks in the past and are protected to deal with, Lin reported. 

The broken ballots proven weren’t mailed in, however introduced in by voters who got new ones, stated Courtney Kanelos of the Sacramento County registrar of voters. These voters acquired new ballots and voted.

“If a broken poll is solid, it could be remade with a number of groups reviewing and confirming the voter intent earlier than it could be counted,” Kanelos stated.

Whereas coronavirus transmission is believed to happen predominantly through extended and shut person-to-person contact, scientists are nonetheless finding out the way it could unfold through contaminated surfaces. New research performed by scientists at Australia’s nationwide science company, suggests SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can linger on non-porous surfaces for longer than anticipated beneath laboratory situations.

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Gael Fashingbauer Cooper