The U.S. Postal Service is in trouble: important mail companies that many Individuals depend on are being lowered amidst an ongoing political battle. A type of important companies is mail-in voting, which is anticipated to be exponentially bigger this yr as a result of pandemic.
USPS has already warned that in some states, there won’t be enough time between when ballots exit to voters and Election Day deadlines for them to be returned and counted.
That is clearly an enormous drawback, particularly for individuals who are susceptible to COVID-19 and can’t vote in individual. Happily, there are a selection of how to make sure that your mail-in poll is delivered in time no matter what occurs with USPS.
Whether or not you anticipate to vote in individual or by mail, make a plan proper now. Check your state’s deadlines for requesting and submitting absentee ballots, and guarantee your voter registration is updated.
After all, simply since you request your mail-in poll now doesn’t imply you’ll obtain it instantly. Most ballots go out later in the fall, which is why USPS is worried about slim turnaround occasions. That stated, attempt to get your poll as early it’s accessible, after which use one of many following choices to submit it to scale back the burden on the Postal Service.
Should you’re wholesome and at low danger for COVID-19 and your state offers early in-person voting, you’ll be able to think about going to the polls (and following very specific safety guidelines) as a substitute of voting by mail. Strains are sometimes shorter throughout early voting intervals, particularly in the event you go at off-peak hours.
Go on to a poll field
Virtually all states settle for mail-in ballots at county clerk or board of elections places of work (here are some resources to find yours), so you’ll be able to hand-deliver your poll forward of and as much as Election Day. That is the most secure possibility for the most important variety of individuals, and even when your county workplace is out of the best way, it’s nicely well worth the effort to make sure your vote is counted.
As well as, 11 states offer ballot drop boxes in some or all counties. These are monitored and emptied by county or elections officers, not USPS. 5 of the 11 are the pre-pandemic common vote-by-mail states (Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington), plus Arizona, California, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska and New Mexico.
In case your state isn’t on this listing, examine together with your county elections workplace anyway to see if in case you have a drop field possibility for this election cycle.
Drop your poll at your polling place
In line with the Nationwide Convention of State Legislatures, 11 states plus DC enable voters to drop ballots off at a polling location of their county, both throughout early voting or on Election Day. These states are Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.
Should you reside in New Hampshire or Vermont, you’ll be able to ship your poll to a polling place in your assigned precinct.
Once more, examine together with your native election officers to see if this feature is out there.
Assist ship ballots
This one is a bit bit tough, as many states have strict guidelines about who’s allowed to deal with an absentee poll aside from the voter themselves. If do you could have members of the family or neighbors who can’t get to a poll field, you could possibly ship their poll for them so that they don’t must depend on the mail.
Earlier than you choose up another person’s poll, check your state’s rules on this chart.
Observe your poll
No matter the way you submit your mail-in poll, you could possibly monitor its progress to make sure your vote is counted. About half of all states have some sort of ballot tracking system.