Voting During Covid-19

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The coronavirus outbreak continues to cast a large shadow over the 2020 presidential election. Just half of U.S. registered voters (50%) say it will be very or somewhat easy to vote in the upcoming elections, while about the same share (49%) expects to have difficulties casting a ballot. That is a substantial change since October 2018, shortly before that year’s midterm elections, when 85% of registered voters said it would be easy to vote. (Pew Research)

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Mail-in vs. Absentee Voting

  • As of Aug. 17, 2020, seven states, including Texas, New York and South Carolina, require an explained excuse for absentee voting. Thirty-four states, including Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio, allow absentee voting for all residents citing the coronavirus or without specifying a reason. And Washington, D.C., and nine states, including Utah, California and Nevada, mail ballots directly to voters. (New York Times)
  • More than 180 million Americans are now eligible to vote by mail in the November 2020 elections after many states relaxed their rules. (The Washington Post)
  • In August 2020, the US Postal Service “warned 46 states that it cannot guarantee the delivery of all ballots in time to be counted under their current deadlines… Many voters said they were so alarmed that they are reconsidering their plans to cast mail ballots and plan to risk going to the polls in person amid the pandemic to make sure they are counted.” (The Washington Post)

Watch The Washington Post: “Understanding Absentee Voting, Mail-in Voting and Early Voting” (2:47)

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