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VoteVote General ElectionGeneral Election 20202020

Avoid Voter Confusion


Photo by Tiffany Tertipes on Unsplash

There is no limit of content for conversation regarding our current election season. The most important note to remember, though, is this simple message: VOTE

We are urging you to vote! We even have a step by step registration check with easy access to your state info.  

Yet, voting is proving more confusing this year than any year prior. Going out to the polls this year in the midst of a pandemic threatens health and safety. Of course, voters can request a mail-in ballot, but we all know how unreliable our postal service has been lately . . . 

So, how will we vote this year? Well, it’s dependent on where you live.

Depending on where you live, there might be Early Voting, Absentee Voting, drop boxes, Early In-Person Absentee Voting, mail-in ballots, provisional ballots — there’s a lot of interchangeably used terminology that really is not meant to be interchangeable. All these terms stir voter confusion  — the new voter suppression — which actively threatens our country’s promise of democracy. 

I’m not here to unpack these terms, because if I did, I’d likely just create more voter confusion. I’m not an expert. Though I will say, even the experts are confused at the moment, too.

Rather, I’m here to help you figure out the best way to cast your vote this season, to provide you with the best resources.

Firstly, what’s most important is making sure you are registered to vote. Once registered, then you can determine the best way for you to vote this season.

One of our country’s leading voting resources is Election Protection — “a national, nonpartisan coalition that works year-round to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to vote and have that vote count.” Their hotline number is 866-687-8683, and the organization offers services in English, Spanish, various Asian languages, and Arabic. 

For a more local resource, contact your State Board of Elections or resident county clerk. To find your county clerk simply search “[YOUR STATE] [YOUR COUNTY] [COUNTY CLERK].”

If you plan on voting in person at the polls on November 3, 2020, make sure to plan your visit  — for most states this means getting in line before the polls close — and bring a valid form of identification. Valid forms of identification vary by state as well, so be sure to check. 

And remember, it’s not just about getting your ballot in. It’s also about getting it in accurately. Read the instructions on the ballot and fill it out accordingly. Sign and seal your envelope. Make sure the signature you use matches the one your state has on file. If sending your ballot in the mail, do not send it too late — fill it out as soon you receive it, and mail it out immediately. Again, our postal service has been slacking.

Well, there’s really only one question on my mind. Are you registered to vote?


Written by Nina Slowinski

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