How Mail in Voting Works
Lately, there is has been alot of talk about mail-in, often referred to as absentee voting. Most of the talk is about how it is going to ruin the election in November and one party or the other is going to use mail-in ballots to steal the election. I feel like this scare tactic, especially in global pandemic world we live in, and will hurt voter turn out. Mail-in voting is great way to avoid the crowds during early and on election day at the polling places.
Mail-in voting has been done for years, most of the people that use it are the elderly, and college students. There are alot of people who travel for the jobs that also take advantage of it. It is great way to ensure that vote is counted even if you cannot get to the polls on election day.
Here is how it works.
1. Contact your local board of elections, and request a mail in ballot.
Don't know who to contact? Start here.
2. The board of elections will verify the information you provided, and make sure you registered to vote, mark in your voting record that you request and were sent a mail in ballot. The ballot will only be sent to the address in your voting record, if you provide a different address you will be denied.
3. Receive your ballot in the mail.
4. Vote from your kitchen table (or living room, or wherever)
5. Insert the ballot into provided envelope and sign your name (just like you do at the polling place) to certify your vote and seal the envelope. Put that envelope into the mailing envelope provided.
6. Mail back the ballot. Ballots must be post marked by election day to count.
7. Once your ballot is received by your local board of elections. They will verify the signature with the signature on file in your voting record (just like at the polling place). Then you are marked as voted, so that you cannot vote again election day. Your ballot will then be feed into the ballot box & counted, just like at the polling place.
That is it, easy. Now for questions.
Sadly, you do not get a sticker with vote by mail.
What if I request a mail-in ballot, but decide I want to vote on election day?
This can be done, bring your ballot with you, and surrender it to the election judges at your polling place. That ballot will be destroyed. When the election judge pulls up your voting record, they will know you were sent a mail-in ballot. If you do not surrender that ballot, you will not be able to vote.
Will I need to provide a reason why I am requesting a mail-in ballot?
It does vary from state to state if they require a reason to be provided. This year maybe an exception because of COVID19, but that would most like be valid, accepted reason.
When should I request a ballot?
As soon as possible, I would suggest even if you are planning on voting in person on election, I would request one. It is hard to tell what life will be like in November, and if you will feel safe to vote in person. Typically, you can request a mail-in ballot up to 60 days before an election, but his varies from state to state.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I don't know the answer I will find the answer for you.
Wash your hands. Wear your mask.