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Thursday, September 3, 2020

Top 3 Reasons to Vote by Mail in November and Beyond

 On the fence about voting by mailing? Due to the pandemic, the number of voters who vote by mail in this November’s election is likely to greatly exceed all previous elections. Personally, I’ve been voting by mail for the past three years and can’t imagine switching back to in-person voting. Read on to discover my Top 3 Reasons to Vote by Mail in November and Beyond.

A record nine states plus the District of Columbia are automatically sending all of their registered voters vote-by-mail ballots for the upcoming election. Those nine states are California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Vermont. 

If you aren’t registered to vote in any of those places and wish to vote by mail, you have to request a vote by mail ballot from your local elections office. However, seven states (Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas) require a reason beyond the COVID-19 pandemic to be able to vote by mail with specifics varying from state to state.

I ended my blog back in April, Top 5 Things to Remember When Making Political Donations, with the bonus tip of voting by mail.

Now, that topic is more timely than ever.

Without further adieu, here are my official Top 3 Reasons to Vote by Mail in November and Beyond:

1. It’s so much more convenient! You can vote from the comfort of your couch… with a mug of homemade pumpkin spice latte… if you want... that’s just what I’ll be doing. 

2. It decreases more stress than lavender. Ever been in the voting booth and not known who to vote for in down-ballot races that get little to no media attention?

*raises hand*

We’ve all been there. As I do, take immense solace in the fact that voting by mail is a completely open note test! With your smartphone, laptop, and/or tablet handy, you have all the info you need at your fingertips to elect the leaders that most closely align with your deeply held personal beliefs.

3. It will stop phone calls, texts, digital ads, etc. from campaigns. As soon as your county elections office receives your vote by mail ballot, a wonderful chain of events starts... campaigns stop including you in their outreach!

Prior to Charity Navigator, I worked on political campaigns, and I can attest that any campaign that’s worth its salt gets near-daily updates from elections offices appended into their outreach databases as to who recently voted early. Campaigns will strike you from their turnout and persuasion universes as your mind has already been made up, and it would be an incredible waste of their limited resources to keep communicating with you about voting.

That’s all I’ve got (for now).

Click here to go straight to your state’s vote by mail webpage for more information or to apply for a vote by mail ballot, if you want to and can.

*slowly raises homemade pumpkin spice latte in the air*

Cheers to making sure your voice is heard!

This post was contributed by Kyle Gardner, Charity Navigator’s Senior Development Manager. Kyle oversees annual campaigns and our monthly donor program, the Frequent Navigators. He is a political news junkie, enjoys all things basketball, and is a proud Kansas Jayhawk. Kyle is passionate about Charity Navigator because he believes that philanthropists of all sizes are truly incredible people and deserve independent resources like our charity ratings, giving tips, Hot Topics lists, impact information, and advisories.


Unknown said...

I am really disappointed that you feel the need to encourage people to vote by mail rather than to do their civic duty in person. This election is truly important. There should not be mailed OUT ballots. If people want to vote by mail they should request an absentee ballot. Mailing out ballots leads to fraud and all sorts of mishaps. We know that which is why going in person or requesting an absentee ballot that comes to your address specifically for you is the only safe way to go. Voting rolls are filled with errors from listing those who have passed away to sending out ballots to incorrect addresses. I will say again, this is really disappointing. Wear a mask to protect yourself but do your civic duty. If it is important enough to you, you go in person. There is also early voting in person and the lines are not typically as long.

As for the states that allow mail out bollots, I am so glad I don't live in one of those.

Jeffrey S. Grubb said...

Very disappointed in this article. Have you not paid any attention to headlines over the past 6 months documenting ballots being found weeks/months after primaries in several states? Voting by mail is fraught with corruption and abuse. Absolutely do not vote by mail if you want to ensure your vote counts. The only way to be absolutely certain your vote counts is to vote in person. 30+ million people go to Walmart everyday - even during the pandemic. So, I'm sure people are ok to go to their local voting place to cast their ballot in person.

Mary F. said...

I would never vote by mail. I always go to the polls and vote physically. Too many problems this year with voting by mail. Vote at your polling place !!

EJC said...

New York State considers risk of contracting or spreading covid-19 a valid reason to vote by mail. This from their website:

Qualifications to Vote by Absentee Ballot (Deadlines)

Absent from your county or, if a resident of New York City absent from the five boroughs, on Election Day.
Unable to appear at the polls due to temporary or permanent illness or disability (temporary illness includes being unable to appear due to risk of contracting or spreading a communicable disease like COVID-19).
Unable to appear because you are the primary care giver of one or more individuals who are ill or physically disabled.
A resident or patient of a Veterans Health Administration Hospital.
Detained in jail awaiting Grand Jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony.