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How To Vote

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There is a lot of talk about the Postal service and how it may impact the election this year. That is a problem, but like every problem (well, almost every problem) there is a solution.

Is there voter suppression? Yes. Do some states make it difficult for city folks (read: African Americans) to vote by limiting polling places? Yes. Are they wheeling away mailboxes in urban areas? Yes.

But, by doing a little research into your home state and county you may find it is easier to vote than you think. Bottom line. And I will repeat this.

DON’T WAIT

And again….

DON’T WAIT.

Vote as early as possible. Do not use the mail service unless absolutely necessary. Voting early means you are not likely to face long lines and can easily social distance.

If you are voting absentee, HAND DELIVER you ballot before election day if it is legal to do so. (In NY you cannot hand deliver your absentee ballot on election day!)

You may be surprised at how many states make it very easy for you to vote. I have 2 links below, which are fairly up to date. One on voting regulations for each state, the other on EARLY VOTING for states that allow it.

Let me summarize briefly:

35 states/territories allow you to request an absentee ballot without a reason; 20 states/territories allow an absentee ballot with a reason and a few are now accepting covid-19 as a reason. One state has no absentee voting because ALL voting is by mail (Oregon).

30 states/territories have early voting in person. (Link is below) . So if you live in one of those states you can vote early and in person. Not likely to be long lines for early voting! No mail to worry about. Do it!

Almost every state (except NH and Minnesota and with some restrictions Wisconsin) allow provisional voting. That means if you are registered and get to the polling place and you are not on the rolls you have the right to cast a provisional ballot. Then, you must go to the County Board of Elections and prove your residency (usually within a couple days). So, always vote, even if they tell you you are not eligible. It is your right. Recall that in 2000 with the massive voter purge in Florida thousands of legal voters were eliminated, including a US Congresswoman ! She knew enough to demand a provisional ballot; I wonder how many did not?

21 states/territories have same day registration. This is especially good for younger voters. Just make sure you have the right ID. By the same token, the other states/territories do NOT have same day registration. For example, In Georgia you must register by October 5 to be eligible to vote. In Kansas you have until October 13th. Use the link below.

If you do request an absentee ballot can you hand deliver it instead of using the mail? That is a question you need to ask at your own local board of elections.

The two links below are very helpful for locating information for this election. They can link you to info specific to your state. Keep in mind that a few states have different rules for each county. Find out well in advance. No excuses.

Don’t let them steal another one.

https://www.usvotefoundation.org/vote/state-elections/state-voting-laws-requirements.htm

https://www.vote.org/early-voting-calendar/

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