vote by mail 2020

The Importance of Mail Ballots in a COVID-19 World

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Mallory Varney
September 8, 2020

534,000 mail ballots were rejected during the primaries across 23 states this year. That is almost 25% in key battleground states for the fall.

✒ SIGNATURE ISSUES. Voters are forgetting to sign their ballots before sending them in. Mismatched signatures between your ballot signature and your signature on file with the government will also be means for dismissal.
📆 LATE SUBMISSIONS. Mail backlogs can result in a ballot postmarked on Election Day to be received too late to count.
❌ BALLOT DAMAGE. A small tear or even a repair made with tape could cause your ballot to be automatically invalid.
🖊 MARKS: If your ballot has a stray pen mark on it or an incorrectly torn perforated edge, it might be disqualified.  

Experience matters. Voters using mail ballots for the first time are much more likely to have their ballot rejected due to voter error.


😷 Due to the national pandemic, 20 states have expanded or eased access to voting by mail as a public health measure. Experts are predicting this could more than double the amount of rejected ballots compared to the 2018 election.

🚫 In FL, the 2016 and 2018 elections showed that the rate of rejection for absentee ballots by 18 to 21-year-olds was over eight times more than voters 65 years old or older. Black and Hispanic voters were more than twice as likely to be rejected than White voters.

📱 Use the Guard My Vote app to take a voting experience survey while you are completing your mail ballot. You'll be able to record the process from start to finish and even document the experience with photos and videos, should any issues with your ballot come up down the road.
🔔 Not all states will notify you if your ballot wasn't counted. However, some states offer an opportunity to fix the issue recorded. Know what your state's process is if you do get notified of an issue.
👍🏽 Get involved in your state's voter education programs. We need to learn as much as we can about mail ballots before November 3rd, so helping to spread awareness on the processes of mail ballots will only help the greater good.

Election officials from all sides agree that the fight over which mail ballots are counted could be the deciding factor in the race for the White House. We have only been able to rely on the government's recording of the voting process. That changes with Guard My Vote. Now is our chance to show the voter's side of the American voting experience.

Full Article: The Washington Post

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