How COVID-19 will change Election Day
Do you expect this year's Election Day to be different from in years past?
By Josh Herman, Countable News
Voting is essential to a strong American democracy.
Even during a global pandemic.
The overall success of this election depends on the mutual cooperation of all Americans to adapt to a new method of voting. More than any other year, being prepared in advance is critical. Whether casting a ballot early in the mail or arriving with extra time to the polls, being prepared with all the accurate information will ensure you get to have your democratic say.
And we’re here to help you say it. With just a few clicks, we'll walk through voter registration, when to request a mail-in ballot, how to find your polling place, and all the documents you'll need to take to the polls—and if you need to wear a mask when you’re there.
Check Your State’s Mask Mandate
Voting in-person this year is going to feel a lot different than any previous election. Owing to safety protocols, you may find that voting takes longer than expected. Do what you can to be prepared for the polls so that you aren’t turned away over something you’ve forgotten, like your photo ID—or a mask.
Find out if you’ll need a face covering with the AARP’s state-by-state guide to mask requirements.
As you will likely be in a somewhat crowded space, consider bringing other personal hygiene items like hand sanitizer, wipes, or gloves. Follow health guidelines so that you can cast your ballot safely. Make yourself a small kit and consider bringing extra items in case someone else in line needs to borrow a mask.
Can I Use COVID-19 as a Reason to Request a Mail-In Ballot?
Save The Date – And Block Off Time
Election Day can be a doozy. COVID-19 has added a layer of dooziness. Whether you’re mailing in your ballot ahead of Election Day or voting in-person on November 3rd, it’s critical that you set aside time to vote.
Knowing where you’re voting will help you wake up worry-free (or at least a bit less nervous) on Election Day.
In previous, non-COVID elections, would-be voters have had to wait in hour-long lines to cast their ballot. This year, election officials are expecting record turnouts—at the same time they’re cutting back on polling locations and poll workers… and may enforce social distancing.
Make time to go early in the day to avoid the longer lineups that happen after dinner. While scheduling and getting time off of work might be a concern, this is a once-every-four-years decision. Your vote – your democratic right to vote – matters.
Starbucks is committed to making sure your ballot reaches the box. Talk to your manager about getting the time you need to vote on or before Election Day.
How you can make it easier to vote:
Vote early in person. You don't have to wait until November 3, 2020, to cast your ballot for president. Every single state and the District of Columbia will afford some number of voters the opportunity to vote before Election Day, most of them significantly expanding access to these opportunities relative to prior elections.
(Image Credit: iStockphoto.com / LEPETTET)
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