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Mail-in Voting: What You Need to Know

Mail-in Voting: What You Need to Know

Image Source: Jason Redmond/Getty Images via Wired

We’ve all watched the news and seen the headlines – there’s a lot of drama surrounding mail-in voting. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 election is going to look very different. With many people unable to vote in-person, mail-in ballots have become more important than ever, and many will be voting by mail for the first time. We’re seeing states change their eligibility guidelines and allocating additional budget towards sending ballot request forms. If you’re one of the many Americans voting by mail this election, here are some easy steps to take to make sure your vote counts!

Register to Vote

This goes for in-person and mail-in voting. Make sure you are registered to vote! Head to and plug-in which state and county you’re in and the site will provide you with all of the information you need to get registered.

Request a Mail-in Ballot

When you receive the link to your local elections site via, fill-out your state’s request form for an absentee ballot. Typically, you’d need to qualify for an absentee ballot, but due to the coronavirus, most states have relaxed restrictions. It’s important that you send in your mail-in ballot ASAP. The closer it gets to election day, the busier voting officials are going to be. To ensure you receive your mail-in ballot on time, get your request in early.

Read the Instructions Carefully

The last thing you need is to go through all of this work, only for your ballot to be discounted due to something as silly as not filling out the form correctly. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Be sure to sign the envelope, not the ballot, which is a common mistake.

Send it in!

Once you’ve filled it out, don’t sit on it. Send it in! Give the post office plenty of time to get your absentee ballot to your election officials. In many cases, you can even track your ballot like you would a package. Some jurisdictions are also setting up ballot drop-off locations, so that could be worth checking out!

However you do it, make sure you VOTE!

Posted by Abby