An Architect’s Guide to Creating Safe Polling Places

Despite the popularity of mail-in voting in the US this year, millions of people will still be voting in-person at the polls in less than a week. According to the CDC, people who vote in-person on a single day are at higher risk for COVID-19 because of the larger crowds and longer wait times. With that in mind, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is hoping that election administrators take advantage of their recently released “safe polling place” resource guide.

As we’ve already seen, thoughtful design can help reduce the chances of exposure to COVID-19.To help protect everyone at the polls, AIA’s resource guide “provides architectural, engineering, operational and administrative strategies that election administrators and polling place workers can employ—as well as modify—for polling places and voting centers.”

Example Polling Place Modified To Reduce Transmission Risk Of Covid-19 / From

AIA created the guidelines using a combination of the latest public health information and their own research found in the “Re-Occupancy Assessment Tool.” The 3D illustrations, which were produced by the design firm Corgan—give clear examples for how to use the strategies in places large and small.

Have you worked on any recent projects that are COVID-19 related? Let us know on social media! And remember, if you’re an Architect in one of the following states, your license renewal deadline is December 31st! 

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