If you decide to vote absentee in the November election, please don’t put your ballot in the mail. If your ballot gets lost or delayed, you’re out of luck. There’s a better way.
The USPS is overwhelmed. And its leadership is intentionally slowing mail delivery down. They claim it’s to save money and resources, but the practical result is that first-class mail is being delayed. By November, if current trends continue, first-class mail will be days or weeks behind schedule. And all the mail-in ballots are expected to further overwhelm the USPS’ fragile resources.
Many states (most states?) will not allow ballots to be counted if they are received after election day, EVEN IF THEY WERE MAILED WEEKS BEFORE.
But voting in person might be tedious, complicated, or even dangerous. So what can we do?
Fortunately, there is a better way.
Every state that provides for early voting or mail-in voting or absentee voting, whatever you want to call it, also provides an alternate method for DELIVERING your ballot to your secretary of state to be counted.
It’s called DROP-OFF BALLOTING.
It’s faster than mailing your ballot. It’s safer than in-person voting. It’s convenient. It’s easy. It’s free.
And, depending on the rules in your state, your vote may possibly be tabulated ahead of Election Day, so there won’t be a days- or weeks-long wait to determine a winner in each race.
So check the policy in your state.
First, you must apply for an absentee or mail-in ballot. Some states are sending absentee ballot applications to all registered voters automatically, but many are not. Check the rules in your state.
Then after you have applied, received, completed, and signed your ballot, find the BALLOT DROP-OFF location closest to you. Just do an on-line search for “DROP OFF BALLOT LOCATION” for your state. It may be the same as your polling place, or it may be even closer. Deliver your ballot to an official drop-off location on or before November 3, and you’re done.
It’s fast, convenient, safe, and free. And it won’t overwhelm the Post Office.
Spread the word.
Many thanks to all the commenters. A few points.
First and hopefully obviously, not everyone can take advantage of the drop off option. But if enough people drop off rather than mail in, then the Post Office will be better able to handle the excess and everyone’s ballot has a better chance to be counted.
Also, some states that allow absentee voting do not allow drop off ballots. Texas and Tennessee were mentioned in the comments. I apologize if I made an unjustified assumption. Should have said “most” states.