There are four states that are guaranteed not to postpone their elections due to the coronavirus.
Oregon, Hawaii, Colorado, and Washington are all-mail ballot states. Social distancing is built right into the system. There are no local polling sites voters need to go to, or poll workers that need to work at them. The processing of those ballots is another matter, of course, but there is no need to postpone elections or go through the chaos of moving polling locations due to the health concerns surrounding the coronavirus.
And considering that this virus will be with us for some time (the earliest estimates for an effective vaccine is still over a year away), America needs to pivot right now to make sure we can all vote on time.
Call or email your state elections board and demand that they offer mail-in ballots for every registered voter. To keep both Americans and our democracy safe and healthy, every voter should have the ability to go online or call to request a ballot and have it mailed to them where they can fill it out in the safety of their own home, and mail it back in. Again, there are 4 states that already do this — the logistics are all worked out — but all of the other states need to get on this, and fast.
Navigate to your state’s elections board HERE, and then go to the Contact Us or About Us page to get the number/email you need to contact them. Feel free to attach THIS REPORT that demonstrates how all mail balloting can also save the state money.
Now that you’ve advocated for your state to go to an all-mail balloting system, you need a back up plan. Right now, and I mean today, go find out what your states offers in terms of absentee ballots. Again, find your state elections website HERE, and if it isn’t immediately obvious where that information is, type in “absentee” or “vote by mail” into the search box. Most states offer some form of absentee ballot but you’ll have to request it and by a certain deadline. So, take every precaution and request it right now.
Bonus: Voting by mail increases turnout
From the NCSL website: “Some reports indicate that because of convenience, voter turnout increases. These reports assert that turnout increases by single digits for presidential elections and more in smaller elections. See this 2013 report on all-mail ballot elections in Washington and this 2018 report on all-mail ballot elections in Utah. Effects on turnout can be more pronounced for low propensity voters, those that are registered but do not vote as frequently.”
In sum, keep your health, save your democracy — what’s left but to share this information with others?