Home / US / A record 75% of Americans can vote by post 2020

A record 75% of Americans can vote by post 2020









Votes were sent

directly to all voters

Absence votes

allowed for everyone

Insurance is required

for absent voting

43 million voters

in nine states + DC

108 million voters

in 33 states

51 million voters

in eight states

Every square

is 100,000

registered voters.

Votes were sent

directly to all voters

Absence votes

allowed for everyone

Insurance is required

for absent voting

43 million voters

in nine states + DC

108 million voters

in 33 states

51 million voters

in eight states

Every square

is 100,000

registered voters.

Votes were sent

directly to all voters

Absence votes

allowed for everyone

Insurance is required

for absent voting

43 million voters

in nine states + DC

108 million voters

in 33 states

51 million voters

in eight states

Every square

is 100,000

registered voters.

Votes were sent

directly to all voters

Absence votes

allowed for everyone

Insurance is required

for absent voting

43 million voters

in nine states + DC

108 million voters

in 33 states

51 million voters

in eight states

Every square

is 100,000

registered voters.

Votes were sent

directly to

all voters

Absent

voting allowed

for all

Insurance is required

for absent

voting

43 million

voters at nine

state + DC

108 million

voters in

33 states

51 million

voters in

eight states

Every square

is 100,000

registered

selector.


About three-quarters of all U.S. voters will be eligible to vote in the 2020 election – the most in U.S. history, according to a New York Times analysis. If the latest election developments continue and turnout increases, as experts predict, about 80 million votes will flood polling stations this autumn, more than twice as many as were returned in 2016.

The rapid and seismic change in the way Americans will vote can be traced to the coronavirus pandemic. Concerns about the potential for virus transmission in polling stations have forced many states to make speed adjustments that – despite President Trump’s protests – will make postal voting in America more accessible this fall than ever before.

“I have a hard time looking back at history and finding an election where it was so significant of a change in the way elections are conducted in this short period of time,” said Alex Padilla, California’s secretary of state who chairs the Democratic State Secretary’s Association.

Most of the changes are temporary and have been made administratively by government and local officials who have the power to make adjustments during emergencies such as the pandemic.


Several of the states that made changes to the premieres are keeping them in place for the general election, while others are making separate adjustments for the fall. A small handful of states have not made any changes and seem unlikely to do so.

Overall, 24 states and the District of Columbia have somehow expanded voters’ access to postal voting for the 2020 general election, with the broad goal of making it easier for people to vote in the midst of a global health crisis. And in some states that maintained relatively strict rules, individual counties have made similar efforts.


Changes in the vote in the autumn of 2020





Sends votes

to all voters

Sends absent ballot paper

applications to all voters

Allows no excuse

absent voting

Allows voters to quote

Covid to vote absent

Made other minor changes

to facilitate absentee voting

States that did not make any changes

Send votes to all voters

Sends absent voting applications

to all voters

Allows no absence to vote

Allows voters to quote Covid to vote

absent

Made other minor changes

to facilitate absentee voting

Sends votes

to all voters

Sends absent ballot paper

applications to all voters

Allows no excuse

absent voting

Allows voters to quote Covid

to vote absent

Made other minor changes to facilitate voting rights from absence


Note: Connecticut and Delaware have approved absentee ballot for all voters and will also submit absentee ballot applications.

Several new pieces of government legislation are also still ongoing, and experts say more change may come through executive action, litigation or other mechanisms in a few states, including New York.

But they also note that many Americans who choose to vote by mail this cycle because of the virus will simply take advantage of options that have long been available to them under existing laws.

More postal votes, higher turnout

During the presidential premieres, many states that made it easier for people to vote by mail saw higher turnout than states that made fewer changes.

Of the states that have had presidential premieres and caucuses this year, 31 saw an increase in turnout compared to 2016. Of those, 18 had sent either ballots or voting applications to all voters before the premieres.


Share in the presidential premieres and cucuses





Change in primary

turnout, 2016-2020

states that

sent votes

or vote

applications

Percentage

who voted

absent in

2020 primary

States that sent votes

or voting applications

Change in primary

turnout, 2016-2020

Percentage

who voted

absent in

2020 primary

States that sent votes or ballot papers

Change in primary turnout, 2016-2020

Percentage it

voted absent

in 2020 primary


Note: Seven states that have had a primary or caucus are not shown in the chart because email voting data is not available. Of these, Minnesota and Wyoming had total increases in turnout. Arkansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire and Tennessee had declines in turnout.

Six states continued to demand that voters have a different excuse than the virus for voting absent in the premieres. In these states, turnout was about the same as in 2016.

Michael P. McDonald, a University of Florida professor studying American elections, said recent election trends, including many of this year’s premieres, have indicated that turnout will increase in the fall compared to 2016, and that widespread use of postal voting will blow up previous records.

“It’s a bit trite to say that you will have the highest election period of your life or that this is the most important election of your lifetime, but it really feels that way,” he said. “I still expect this to have a very high turnout in November. The unique question we have is just: Will the electoral system be able to bear it? ”

In fact, the primaries also revealed the myriad problems that election officials and voters may face this fall.

In Wisconsin, 11-hour court decisions, long queues at the polls, an order backlog of absentee ballots and complaints about missing or invalid e-mail polls stretched the system to the brink of collapse. In Georgia’s most populous counties, voters encountered a meltdown with their endless lines and faulty technology. And in New York, it took several weeks for overwhelmed officials to count thousands of mail whales and deliver results.

Trump has consistently criticized strong e-mail voting – while military members and older Americans should be allowed to vote absent – and says sending votes to voters would directly jeopardize the integrity of the election. More generally, some Republicans have continued to insist without evidence that postal voting helps Democrats.

The postal vote has expanded unevenly along somewhat partisan lines: Several of the states identified by The Cook Political Report as solid or likely Democrats in the 2020 general election have implemented some of the most expansive postal voting programs; Many of the states identified as solid or likely Republicans have continued to restrict access to postal voting.


Cook Political Report rating for 2020 Electoral College





Fixed + Probable

democratic

Fixed + Probable

Republican

Solid + probably democratic

Solid + Probably Republican

Fixed + Probable

democratic

Fixed + Probable

Republican


Note: Maine and Nebraska elect voters using the district method, where each state congressional district elects its own voter, and the votes of the remaining two constituencies are determined by the popular voter.

Studies have repeatedly shown that the choice of fraud of any kind is extremely rare in the United States. And states and counties that have gone to all the polls have seen little evidence of biased advantage.

Potential problems in November

Researchers said that thin, elongated polling stations could quickly be overwhelmed by the volume of postal ballots. To help reduce their burden, election officials in several key swings have already asked lawmakers to give them more leeway to prepare absentee ballots to count when they arrive rather than after the polls close.

Their problems may be exacerbated by the lack of funding for the postal service. If there are slowdowns in either the polling station or the post office, experts say, votes can not be sent out on time or returned with postmark deadlines.

Richard L. Hasen, a professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine, said he remained “very concerned” that many voters would be released through no fault of their own. Because many voters are unaware of the voting process, he and other experts said, they were concerned that voters could make unintentional technical errors when marking, signing, sealing or sending a ballot, which eventually led to their votes being rejected.

And those who vote in person may have to confront the shortage of survey workers, which spectators say is likely to be exacerbated by the pandemic.

“It will be uneven,” said Amber McReynolds, executive director of National Vote at the Home Institute and Coalition. “Is it going to be a disaster in a certain state? It’s hard to say right now. ”

Well-prepared states that are accustomed to counting on a large number of postal elections – and where presidential elections are not imminent – may be called on election night. But experts say the bill in other states could delay race applications for at least a day or two. And in states where the presidential race is tight and laws are inflexible, a clear picture of who has won can take weeks to develop.

Despite the challenges, Phil Keisling, who was Oregon’s secretary of state when it began sending votes to voters more than two decades ago, was among more than half a dozen experts who expressed the belief that election administrators would get their jobs done.

“Tens of millions of people are in the terra incognita election, and so there is anxiety, and that’s understandable,” Keisling said. “But I’m probably optimistic that we will make a choice that meets very high standards of professionalism, and that the vast majority of Americans, even if they do not like the results, will believe that the results are fair.”


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