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Dallas Officials Offering Quarantined Ebola Patients a Special Way to Vote Early

Dallas Officials Offering Quarantined Ebola Patients a Special Way to Vote Early

With Election Day only weeks away, early voting has started in Dallas County, Texas. But some are worried that those in quarantine and being watched for Ebola there might miss their opportunity to cast their ballot between now and Election Day. So officials are mulling a scheme to allow them to vote without breaking quarantine.

Several of the healthcare professionals who treated now deceased Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, such as nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, have been stuck in quarantine while they are watched for symptoms of Ebola.

Because of this shut-in status, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says none of these people will be allowed to leave their quarters to vote. But for some of these workers, their quarantine date won’t end until after Election Day next month.

So, officials are exploring the idea of allowing those in quarantine to vote using a new email system offered to some members of the military who cannot make the polls.

The electronic idea is being considered because of fears that physical items such as paper ballots might be infected. “There were concerns about the transmission of items that were in their rooms and going through the mail, from hand to hand, to hand,” said Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole.

A district judge will still have to approve of the plan.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter: @warnerthuston. Email the author at


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