Your Quick Guide to Voting During the Pandemic
The presidential election is just weeks away, and a lot of us may feel that a little uncertainty still drifts over the voting process.
Actually, that is understandable. The ongoing fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and the rising level of interest in this year’s presidential election has put a lot of pressure on the electoral system. Unlike before, early in-person voting and mail-in voting will play a much larger role in the elections today, and local officials around the United States are still improving the details necessary to achieve it.
Meanwhile, a lot of discussions about election fraud and voter suppression are floating online. There are recent slowdowns in the U.S. Portal Service, too, which makes many people worried and thinking if their ballots will arrive on time.
The good news is that those issues are being ironed out one-by-one. You can also do some simple steps to make sure that your vote is counted, and that you’re safe from the risks caused by COVID-19.
In this article, we will guide you on how to vote safely and surely during the pandemic, whether you want to vote early in person or decide to vote by mail.
The first step is to get started now. Plan ahead to vote the way you want.
Here are the steps that you should take:
Check the Status of your Voter Registration
Register to vote to make sure that your name is on the list. Some states have cleared out voter rolls, and a handful of standard ways to vote aren’t available this year because of the pandemic.
Also, it’s important to give your current address to local election officials, whether you vote in-person or via mail.
Early In-Person Voting
This type of voting process is now available in at least 40 states. This is also an effective way to avoid the crowds and long lines at polling stations.
Election Day Voting
Show up during off-peak times to avoid long lines. The middle of the day is the best time to vote. It will definitely help you avoid the end-of-day rush.
Absentee or Mail-in Voting
This is the surest way to minimize risks of contracting the virus and avoid long lines. The restrictions and rules about mail-in voting vary by state, so you should check the protocols enforced on your area.
You can also check the NASS website’s “Can I Vote?” page to know more.
Is Mail Voting Safe?
There’s a lot of arguments about mail-in voting, suggesting that it can enable large-scale vote fraud. However, experts say that there is zero evidence about extensive election fraud, so you don’t have to worry.
That is incredibly rare and its possibility rate is very small. The ballots have numbers or are bar-coded, so hackers will definitely have a hard time to figure out how they can sabotage the election.