Changes to 2020 Election Polling Stations Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Ghada Atalla, Staff Writer

By Ghada Atalla

Staff Writer

   Polling Stations all over California will be opening from October 31 to November 3 in order to allow local voters the opportunity to cast their ballots in person. 

   According to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, “One or more early voting locations will be available in many counties for at least four days beginning the Saturday before the November 3, 2020, election. Voting locations will offer voter registration, replacement ballots, accessible voting machines, and language assistance.” Polling places will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for the general election on November 3 (

   According to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, “If you need to vote in-person, polling places will be open for four days, October 31 through November 3. There will be fewer locations than normal, so the location of your assigned poll has most likely changed” (

    “[The] governor’s executive orders are in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and provide direction to ensure that Californians can exercise their right to vote in a safe, secure, and accessible manner during the 2020 Presdential General Election.” Additionally, “All active registered voters in California will receive a ballot in the mail. If you need to vote in person, fewer locations of polling places will be open”  (

      The San Diego Registrar of Voters affirmed, “The country has to do better. Doing better will be up to state and local officials working to administer the ten-thousand different election jurisdictions that make up the decentralized system of elections in the United States” (

   Older adults and people who are at high risk for COVID-19 are encouraged to avoid long lines and crowded polling places by voting early.  According to Voter Safe San Diego, voters are encouraged to  “… [b]ring [a] face masks and plan to maintain social distancing. The Registrar of Voters is adhering to public health orders and will make reasonable accommodations when needed to ensure the health and safety of all election workers, voters and observers to our polling places” (

   According to a fact-checking website, “Protecting the November Election requires an all of the above approach that keeps polling places open. As America prepares for the National Elections in the middle of a pandemic, the strength of our democracy will be measured by how well we uphold the voting rights of the vulnerable” (

  The Human Rights Watch stated, “The duty of the election officials across the country should be to protect and affirm the meaningful act, doing their utmost to ensure that all citizens can freely and equally exercise their voting rights, in November 2020 and beyond” (

  Junior Gianna Beneventi said, “Polling places should be open because people have the right to express themselves.” Junior Stephanie Martinez explained that polling places should be open to reassure the voters when they make the decision. She elaborated that it can emphasize the importance of people’s votes because they are making the choice to come and vote.