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Over a dozen states have made it easier to vote by mail in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a Washington Post analysis finding that over 190 million voters will have a ballot sent to them or be able to cast a ballot without an excuse beyond the fear of contracting COVID-19.
This fall, nine states and the District of Columbia, in addition to many Montana counties, are sending all or most registered voters a ballot, and several more have already sent out mail ballot application forms to all or most voters. In all remaining US states, voters can already request their November ballots.
Hundreds of thousands of ballots have gone out to voters in nearly 20 states already, with even more states gearing up to start sending ballots out to voters who have requested them this week.
But the process of requesting and returning a ballot can be unfamiliar and confusing to many voters, especially those in states with historically low levels of mail voting. And mail votes are often rejected at higher rates than ballots cast in-person.
Half of US states are to allow US voters to request ballots through an online portal, with Kentucky, Georgia, and North Carolina recently rolling out online absentee ballot request tools.
Here are the first days to apply for your ballot by mail and the deadlines to return them in every state:
n the lead-up to the end of voting in the 2020 election, judges have issued conflicting court rulings on whether ballots must be postmarked or received by Election Day.
Judges in Indiana, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin ruled that election officials must accept ballots that are postmarked by November 2 or November 3 and arrive after Election Day only for those rulings to be overturned by appeals courts.
A GOP lawsuit challenging the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling to extend the deadline by which ballots must be received from November 3 to November 6 is currently pending before the US Supreme Court.
Even if a court has recently ruled to extend the deadline by which ballots must be received in your state, you should still get your ballot in the mail at least seven days before November 3 or drop it off in-person to a secure dropbox or your local elections office, if it’s an option in your county.
And even though 31 out of the 40 states not sending all voters a ballot this November allow voters to request ballots within a week of the election, both election officials and the United States Postal Service are encouraging voters to request their ballots as soon as possible to ensure they receive their ballots on time.
In primaries so far this year, many election offices that saw exponential increases in voters requesting mail ballots at the last minute struggled to get ballots out to all voters in time in parts of Maryland, D.C., Pennsylvania, Georgia, and New York.
The US Postal Service, which delivers millions of mail ballots every year, has told election officials that it …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Politics