Originally, I wrote “Hot Potato’ for my Connecticut neighbors. Then I realized, of course- EVERYONE NEEDS TO HOT POTATO THEIR BALLOT because of the serious problems the post office is having with delayed mail…
Hot Potato: How to Make Your Vote Count
A recent headline shouts: “1 Million Primary Ballots Were Mailed Late.” (NYT- 9/2/20) So either the absentee ballots did not arrive before the election, and/or the completed ballot was not returned by the state’s designated deadline.
Voting-by-mail during this COVID-19 pandemic is the safe, preferred method. Seeing that you get your ballot on time and having your vote counted is the challenge.
Much has been written about the recent changes in the Post Office. Yes, mail is being delayed, so let’s work around that problem.
In “Will You Have Enough Time to Vote by Mail in Your State?” (NYT 8/31/20), many states confess that they can not guarantee your ballot will be delivered and returned in time for your vote to count. Each state has different methods and requirements for voting by mail. To explore your states Absentee Ballot Rules and deadlines visit: https://www.vote.org/absentee-voting-rules/
Step #1. Be sure you are registered. https://www.vote.org/am-i-registered-to-vote/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwy8f6BRC7ARIsAPIXOjjWUbxXxTn9gge0o5OSKMKr-4Lv5hthDXQ6nHACldFdG5PdFgKRZRsaAn4MEALw_wcB
Step #2. Request an absentee ballot. Some states will automatically send one to all active registered voters. It’s up to your individual state. Check the rules. In some states you can request an absentee ballot online. Sign up to get one as soon as possible. When the request for the absentee ballot arrives check the excuse box- ” COVID-19,” sign it, and then place your request application into the return envelope with your town’s name showing in the address window. (We had a problem with this in Connecticut.)
Step #3. Once your absentee ballot arrives, Hot Potato the darn thing. Cast your vote, sign your name, put the ballot in the return envelope, and seal it. Do all of the above as soon as the ballot arrives. Have it ready to go with tomorrow’s outgoing mail. Make the turnaround time the next day. Do not procrastinate. Remember: Hot Potato!
Step#4. It would be best, if you can avoid putting your ballot into the mail. Many towns and cities have ballot drop boxes where you can officially drop off your sealed ballot. This bypasses the mail and avoids any potential delays. The drop box method is ideal. If you lack transportation, you can legally ask a trusted family member or friend to be your “allowable designee” who will take your ballot to the dropbox for you. This effort essentially gets your ballot safely to its proper destination before or by election day. Preferably before.
Step #5. Lastly, if your absentee ballot does not arrive by election day, you will have to vote in person instead. Find your polling place, wear a mask, keep 6 feet distance from everyone. Bring your own pen. Be sure to sanitize your hands after voting. https://www.vote.org/polling-place-locator/
Your vote is extremely important in this election. Let’s make sure your vote gets counted. Please share this widely so everyone’s vote gets counted.