With less than a week to go before election day, NGA has compiled a list of helpful resources to inform you of how to register to vote, how to safely cast your ballot by mail or in-person, and the key races happening in your area.
2020 has been an election year unlike any other. Due to COVID-19, more than 70 million Americans have already cast their votes. Key states such as Texas and Florida have seen record high voter turnout, putting them on track to surpass 2016 vote totals before November 3.
There are indications that voting blocs with historically low turnout, such as younger Americans, are turning out in record numbers. A recent report from the US Election Project predicts a record 150 million ballots will be cast this year – representing 65% of eligible voters. This would be the highest turnout in a presidential race since the 1908 election between Republican William Howard Taft and Democrat William Jennings Bryan.
While the early voting period is drawing to a close in many states, there are still several avenues for casting your ballot if you have not done so already. As always, the NGA Government Relations team stands by ready to assist with any questions. Please contact Terence Huie, NGA’s PAC and Grassroots Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the election resources below.
How to Register to Vote
While many voter registration deadlines have passed, dozens of states offer the opportunity to register on election day. Some states have also changed their deadlines due to the coronavirus pandemic. Please click here to register to vote, find out about voter registration deadlines, voting times, and more. You can find polling locations in your area by clicking here.
What You Need To Know About Voting By Mail
While the mail voting period will end soon in most states, regulations vary greatly between jurisdictions. Please click here to learn the deadlines for requesting a mail-in ballot in your state and here to request your mail-in ballot. Click here to see if your state is one of the 39 that allow you to track your ballot once you’ve mailed it in.
What’s On Your Ballot?
Click here to see what is on your ballot. While you’ve probably heard of the marquee presidential race between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, one-third of the Senate, and the entire House of Representatives is also up for election. State and local elections will also be on the ballot in many areas. Check with your state or local election office or the U.S. Vote Foundation for a complete rundown of races in your jurisdiction.
Find Your Polling Place
Please click here to find out where your election day polling precinct is located, its hours, and if you can change your polling place. In many jurisdictions, there have been changes due to the pandemic. These may include different locations, layouts, procedures, and the availability of translators. If you need to vote in person, check your polling place close to Election Day and with local election officials to learn if your needs will be met at your precinct.
Staying Safe While Voting
Click here to learn about the ins-and-outs of healthy voting amid COVID-19. Several states have adapted their voting procedures to keep voters safe and it’s important to know your options for voting in your state during the pandemic. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted several recommendations for voters to follow in order to stay safe on election day:
- Avoid close contact: try to stay at least 6 feet apart of other people, especially those not wearing a mask. Use early voting, if available in your jurisdiction, vote at off-peak times, such as mid-morning, and if driving to the polls and your schedule allows, monitor the voter line from your car and join it when it’s shorter.
- Wear a mask around others
- Take care when touching surfaces and wash your hands often or, if not possible, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Be prepared. Check your voting location and requirements in advance because they may have changed due to COVID-19, verify your voter registration information is correct in advance of reporting to the polling location, contact your local or state election office for additional information for voters with disabilities, make sure you have all necessary documents to avoid delays at the polling location, review or complete a sample ballot at home to speed the process of casting your ballot at the polling location, and bring your own black ink pen or stylus.