EVERYTHING IS ON THE BALLOT THIS YEAR
You might hear this every election but it's particularly true right now: your vote this year is more important than ever before. This election will determine some of the biggest decisions faced by our country and the world, with massive ramifications for everything from climate change to healthcare to police reform - and potentially the future of democracy in America. With everything on the ballot this year, it is not only critically important to make a plan to vote yourself, but also to maximize the number of voters participating.
Pledge To Vote
Voter turnout is everything, and pledging to vote increases voter turnout.
Make a commitment to vote, schedule time on your calendar if necessary, and set reminders for important deadlines.
Phone banks and Postcards to Voters are great ways to participate, but it is far easier to convince a friend or family member to pledge. Start with the low-hanging fruit: secure a pledge from people in your network: parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, extended family, friends and colleagues. They will be more receptive to you than to a stranger on the phone.
Early Voting By Mail
With the ongoing pandemic, and the current uncertainty swirling around the USPS, CLS Dems recommends early voting by mail when possible. Ballots that are requested or mailed in close to the deadline may not end up being counted.
Only six states currently require a justification for mail-in voting: Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. All other states either don't require justifications, or allow fear of Covid-19 as a justification. For more information see this very informative Wall Street Journal article.
Requesting Your Ballot: Deadlines
If you are able to vote by mail (if you live in one of the 44 states where no justifications are required, or if you live in one of the six states listed above and have a justification), make sure to request your ballot well before the deadline.
Note that ten states automatically mail ballots to voters: California, Colorado, DC, Hawaii, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and Washington. If you live in one of these states make sure to check your mail for the ballot and return it promptly.
See the chart to the right for ballot request deadlines. Deadlines in red are less than 30 days away.
Requesting Your Ballot: Forms
Visit https://www.vote.org to generate a ballot request form if required. Vote.org also has detailed information for each state at the bottom of the page, if you'd rather fill the forms out yourself.
Mailing Your Ballot
Most states require that the ballot either be received or postmarked by election day or one day before. But the USPS is currently under attack, leading to potential delays in mail delivery, so it is best to get your ballot mailed as early as possible.
"The Best Way to Vote in Every State", Slate: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/08/2020-voting-guide.html
The Wall Street Journal has a great overview of voting by state, available here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-vote-by-mail-in-every-state-11597840923.