In partnership with Hip Hop Caucus, US Vote has created a comprehensive, up-to-date, easy-to-understand resource to guide voters through the ups and downs of criminal disenfranchisement.
In partnership with Hip Hop Caucus, US Vote has created a comprehensive, up-to-date, easy-to-understand resource to guide voters through the ups and downs of criminal disenfranchisement
Early Voting and In-person Absentee Voting: Two Important Voting Options Explained.
One of the biggest issues facing the electorate in the run-up to the November 3 General Election is the question of how to vote, and in particular, how to vote safely in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Needless to say, this has spurred an enormous interest in alternatives to showing up at a polling place on Election Day. While many voters are deciding to vote-by-mail, it’s not for everyone.
This where early voting and in-person absentee voting come in. These voting methods provide alternatives that you may want to consider.
US Vote is excited to announce our new Early Voting Dates Chart that you can consult to see your state’s available options.
A College Student’s Take on the Voting Process
Balancing college life is tough. Fulfilling extracurricular commitments, maintaining a social life, earning money, and caring for physical and mental health all pile on top of meeting the demands of coursework itself. So when a student seeks to vote, to engage themselves in the democracy they live in, to make their voice heard, no obstacles should stand in the way. But in today’s America, navigating the voting process for college students is a chore in and of itself.
Those of you who log on to U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) and Overseas Vote for help in getting your ballot or contacting your local election official may be surprised to know that we have another important mission: helping other organizations, companies, and even states provide the same services to their members, customers, employees, and constituents. We do this by licensing the data and services that power this very website. This allows us to provide hosted systems and widgets to create a customized website experience that provides US Vote’s voting services directly to the licensee’s website, while mimicking the website’s look and feel.
We're very excited to announce our partnership with theSkimm to provide licensing data and services that make it easier to request your absentee ballot, navigate your state-by-state voting options, and get in touch with your local election official."
Do you have questions about how to return your ballot without putting it into the postal system?
U.S. Vote Foundation has answers for you on our new Ballot Return Options chart.
We are all a bit shaken by the compounding news stories relating to our treasured U.S. Postal Service. With so many voters needing absentee vote-by-mail ballots to participate this year, the timing of this drop in postal service efficiency is disastrous.
With the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution upon us, it’s worthwhile taking a look at what led to that historic moment a century ago. While 1920 marked the first election in which women could vote for president, it was hardly the first time that women were “allowed” to vote in the United States. The saga of the journey from colonial disenfranchisement to the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the modern era is a journey into the complicated history of voting in the United States, one that has oscillated between inclusion and exclusion since the dawn of our democracy.
One of the first women to vote in the United States, according to historian Stephen Ambrose, was Sacagawea, the young Shoshone woman who helped lead the Lewis and Clark expedition from the Central Plains to the mouth of the Columbia River. At a key moment in their journey in 1805, a decision to proceed by one route or the other was decided by a voice vote of the entire Corps of Discovery, including Sacagawea as well as York, William Clark’s slave. As both were technically slaves (Sacagawea had been kidnapped and “married’ to a French trader at the age of 15 after her original owner lost her in a card game), the significance of this vote is not to be denied, however little it actually influenced voting rights back home.
Here are the most commonly asked Domestic and Overseas Absentee Ballot questions from our Voter Help Desk. Have a look and see if your question is answered.
1. Is there still time to request an absentee ballot?
- Yes, there may still be time to request an absentee ballot. You need to be registered first, and then create your ballot request. Here's a how-to request a domestic ballot video. And here's a video for overseas ballot request.
- If not, you may be able to vote early; many states offer some form of early voting.
- Check the Election Dates & Deadlines chart for absentee ballot request deadlines and early voting dates in your state. (Notice the toggle to overseas voter dates!)
2. When are ballots mailed out and where’s mine?
- States vary in their timing for mailing out ballots. For domestic voters, expect it to be sent about 4 weeks prior to Election Day. For overseas voters, it will be sent as of 45 days prior to the election.
- If you sent your ballot request form to your election office and confirmed that you are registered, but don't yet have your ballot - it is good to check on its whereabouts as soon as possible.
- Go to the State Voting Requirements directory: Look up your state and open the "State Lookup Tools - Am I registered? Where's my ballot?" section. There you will see the "Where's My Ballot" link - if your state offers it (they don't all have this).
- If the "Where's My Ballot" link is unavailable or you do not find your ballot, you will need to look up and call your election office - they manage ballot sending and counting.
- Also, check out the new Ballot Return Options chart.
This second post in a new series on overseas voting is by Mariana Neisuler, a career diplomat in the U. S. diplomatic service. Her views are presented in a personal and non-partisan capacity and do not represent those of the U.S. Department of State.
My Macedonian driver was chatting away as he made blood curdling turns along a mountainous road on the way to an Albanian village. It was June 2008 and Macedonia was holding its first early elections since the country’s founding in 1991. I was the Embassy’s elections monitor.
Every four years we gear up for a presidential election that consumes our collective attention like no other national event. The amount of energy – positive and negative – devoted to the primaries, the conventions, and the general election often obscures those other elections that take place on November 3.
The other elections? I’m talking about elections for city councils, school boards, transportation districts, all manner of county and state offices, referenda, and recalls: with over 90,000 (!!) different voting districts across the country, it’s no wonder that the ballots we’ll receive will be many pages long. The voter guides in some states, like my home state, California, tend to look like phone books (Ok, boomer, I’m old), confusing and poorly indexed phone books to be precise.
As we prepare for what is going to a massively complex election, one that is looking more and more like it will be a largely vote-at-home election, it’s important to remember we’re voting for a huge number of other people and issues than who will be sitting behind the Resolute Desk in the West Wing come January 20.