Vote Early, Registration Deadlines for 2020

Ensuring voters have the information they need

Election Day 2020 is on November 3rd, but already the race is on in determining who will be our next President.

Due to COVID-19, record numbers of people are on the move. According to USA.gov:

“Changes to polling places are possible due to the coronavirus. These may include different locations, layouts, procedures, and availability of translators.”

USA.gov notes that many voters with disabilities rely on in-person voting at accessible polling places, so lines may be longer. This is why many election officials around the country are encouraging voting early.

According to CNET.com, many state election boards urge “universal vote-by-mail” mandating voters in 35 states to mail in or use designated drop-sites. People who want to use polling places will need to check which polling locations are open, and if they have a mail-in ballot, they should take their mail-in ballot with them to verify their registration.

According to WUSA9, the U.S. Postal Service recommends voters place their ballots in the mail at least one week before their state’s deadline, and generally this means postmarked and received well before November 3, 2020. Of course on election day, there are generally drop sites available.

Unsure about voter registration, ballot issues, polling places, and other information? Check out Vote411.org for dates and deadlines on registering to vote or to check your voter registration status.

Learn about the U.S. Presidential candidates,

Learn why your involvement in voting matters (https://www.usa.gov/election)

Obviously the Presidential voting process is convoluted due to the fact that in the United States, general voters are actually casting their vote for electoral representation.

“The number of electors each state gets is equal to its total number of Senators and Representatives in Congress. A total of 538 electors form the Electoral College. Each elector casts one vote following the general election. The candidate who gets 270 votes or more wins.”

According to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, all racial and language minorities have the right to vote, however, securing those rights has not been easy. So much discrimination against individuals occurred such as being denied access to voting or against groups such as experiencing vote “dilution”  due to gerrymandering that the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 was passed to lessen barriers. Today there is improved accountability and disadvantaged populations, and U.S. citizens living or born abroad are encouraged to vote.

In fact, any person can qualify to vote in the U.S. elections provided he or she is a U.S. citizen, meets state residency requirements, and is 18 years old on or before Election Day. With a few exceptions, such as persons in jail, all anyone has to do is make sure they register by their state deadline. Remember, it is crime to try to vote twice!

Understanding the nuances in voting registration and deadlines, especially making sure you receive your mail-in or absentee ballot on time is critical. Check out Vote.gov to find out about filing for mail-in or absentee ballot deadlines in your state. Note that while you may register to vote online, there will be no online voting anywhere in the United States.

Vote411.org is sponsored by the League of Women Voters Education Fund. Copyright 2006 League of Women Voters. All rights reserved. Article prepared by AsianGreenNews.com, author Christine Wong, agn@asiangreennews.com.


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