More Americans will vote by mail this November than in any previous election — will you?
Are you going to vote by mail this year?
By Josh Herman, Countable News
85% of Americans are eligible to vote by mail amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s nearly 200 million voters, or three-quarters of the country. In one swing state – Michigan – requests for mail-in ballots are up 350%.
Some states were already on-track to expand mail-in voting before the COVID-19 pandemic, while others have adjusted their policies around absentee voting to accommodate voters hoping to avoid in-person polling places on Election Day.
As of September 28, 2020, approximately 85.4% of U.S. voters reside in states that will allow everyone to cast mail-in ballots.
- Nine states and Washington, DC, will automatically send a ballot to all registered voters.
- Thirty-six states will allow any voter to request an absentee or mail-in ballot, either requiring no excuse for the request or allowing concerns over COVID-19 as a valid excuse.
- Five states will require voters to provide a qualifying excuse beyond fear of COVID-19 in order to receive an absentee or by-mail ballot.
What can you do?
This vast expansion of mail-in voting presents a massive logistical challenge for election administrations, the postal system, and voters. Make it easier for you, and the Postal Service, by doing some simple prep.
If you’re planning to vote by mail:
- Make sure you’re registered to vote and/or check your voting status.
- Request your mail-in ballot with all-the-time necessary to receive it, complete it, and return it.
- Wondering about your state’s timeline? Check your deadline here.
- Check & double-check your ballot. Ballots could be discounted for errors made in marking, signing, sealing, or sending. See a sample ballot for your state here.
- Need help understanding your ballot? No problem. Call 866-OUR-VOTE, a nonpartisan toll-free hotline where you can chat with an expert.
- English not your native language? Also not a problem. Over 260 jurisdictions provide language assistance to voters. Learn more from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
(Image Credit: iStockphoto.com / Bill Oxford)
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