Here are the ways in which you can vote and some tips to help you along the process. The process of voting may sound a bit daunting to some people, but it’s not as complicated as it sounds.
In-Person Election Day Voting
Usually, the election polling places remain regular, however, this year there might be a change to some places due to the ongoing pandemic or the shortage of poll workers. To avoid any confusion, you can simply visit the local elections agency website and find out all the relevant information.
If you are a registered voter, you might even receive a postcard from the election administrators ahead of the election day where you will be reminded where to cast votes. At some places, you might be asked to show your government-issued photo identification to the poll workers.
If you are not a registered voter, you still have a chance! Around 20 states provide the facility of getting registered on the same day at the polls. Keep in mind, that the identity requirements vary from state to state.
If you are still not registered, then you will have to go for a provisional ballot. It is used to record votes where the voters’ eligibility needs to be checked for their votes to be counted. You might have to go to your local election board with documentation to prove your eligibility. There may be long lines at the poll but if you arrive before closing time then you will be allowed to vote if you are still in the line.
Early Voting Centers
These are centralized locations set up before the election day where you can cast your vote. Due to the pandemic, even larger places are now required to be established. Following this need, major sports league franchises have planned to open up their vast arenas and stadiums to be used as voting sites.
Like Election Day, if you choose early voting you still need to be all the required identification documents with you. Here is a tip for you: don’t go for early voting on the first and last days because those are the busiest days. The length of the lines changes frequently depending upon the number of days for early voting your jurisdiction offers.
Voting Via Mail
If you do not have the patience to wait in long lines, then apply for a ballot online. Most states even allow you to keep a track of your ballot request online. The website will also let you know when your ballot was received, so you can rest assured about your vote being cast.
This fall, millions of Americans will receive a ballot without having to apply for it. Make sure to read all the instructions carefully and fill the ballot as is asked, otherwise your vote may not be counted. For example, if your state requires you to send the ballot back in a specific envelope, be sure to use that. Also, ensure that your signature on the ballot matches the one on the file with your voter registration.
The last step is returning your ballot. The safest way is to use an authorized drop box set up by your local election administrator. However, not all states have drop boxes. In that case, you must ensure that you return your ballot through the mail in a timely fashion. Some states require the ballots to be returned by Election Day while some allow the mail to be postmarked by Election Day.
You will have to constantly track your ballot and see if it has been received and counted. If you are sure that it has not been received, then you may be allowed to vote in person on Election Day.
At the end of the day, you have to be certain about your local state laws.