Metal mailbox for rural homes with I Voted sticker as conceptHow to vote by mail

With only two full months before the Presidential election and the coronavirus still weighing heavily on the United States, it is crucial to think ahead to how voting will be different this election cycle. Many younger people choose to register as permanent absentee voters, but for those used to going to their local polling place, the first Tuesday in November might be a lot different this year. Of course, voting rules and regulations vary by state but use this check-list to make sure that you are prepared to vote come November. Follow these tips to make sure you’re registered to vote by mail:

 

Make sure you are registered to vote

To check your voter registration status visit the US government webpage. When checking your registration status, you will also see your polling location and your party affiliation. If you have recently moved, you will need to re-register to vote. The deadline to register to vote is different in each state but will be sometime in October. To check when the deadline to register is in your state, visit the US Vote Foundation. Most states allow you to register to vote online, and in all states, you can also register by mail.

 

Prepare for a primarily vote-by-mail election

This year, make sure you’re registered to vote by mail by being prepared. Ballots will start being sent out sometime in October. When you receive your ballot will depend on your county, and for questions about when your ballot will be sent out contact your county’s election division. The election website will have information specific to the area you live in and will have contact information for their office should you have any questions. Some states, such as California, plan to send out mail-in-ballots to every registered voter in the state this election cycle. It is important to know the rules in your county ahead of time so you can be prepared. 

 

Research issues that you plan to vote on

While a lot can change in the next few months leading up to the election, it is good to start familiarizing yourself now on the seats open for election and the issues on the ballot where you live. Voting can be overwhelming, especially during a presidential election when voter turn-out is usually higher than in other election cycles. Your county should provide you with a voter guide that outlines local and state measures. Local newspapers are another great tool for learning about local issues. Websites like Ballotpedia offer unbiased breakdowns of issues and show you resources for what will be on your November ballot.

 

Don’t forget to vote

If you are overwhelmed with the changes happening this year to protect people from the spread of COVID-19, you are not alone. But don’t let that stop you from voting! If you don’t want to visit a polling place this November, get your ballot in the mail as early as possible. The United States Postal Service has been experiencing delays and will be receiving an unprecedented amount of mail-in-ballots this election cycle. So the earlier you can get your vote cast, the better. Those who will still be going to the polls remember to wear your mask, social distance and wash your hands well when you finish voting.

Voting may be different in this election, but every vote still counts. Follow the above tips to make sure you’re registered to vote by mail and exercise our most powerful right as citizens to allow our voices to be heard!

 

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