This year’s election is more important than ever. Because of COVID-19 many jurisdictions are providing multiple ways to vote: by absentee ballot, in-person early voting, and in-person on election day. It is important that you have a plan to vote and know your jurisdiction’s deadlines. So visit your jurisdiction’s board of elections or contact your registrar for the most up-to-date information about your jurisdiction.
Board of Elections Websites
District of Columbia: https://www.dcboe.org/
You should be of aware of important election deadlines.
|District of Columbia||Maryland||Virginia|
|Request an Absentee Ballot||10/27||10/20||10/23|
|Return Absentee Ballot||Postmarked 11/3
Received by 11/10
|Postmarked by 11/3
Dropbox by 8pm 11/3
Received by 11/13
Received by 11/6
|Early Voting||10/17 – 10/30||10/26 – 11/2||9/18 – 10/31|
A Few Additional Tips
- Even if you believe you’re registered, check your board of elections website to be sure.
- Learn what photo ID is required by your state.
- If you’ve moved since your last election and have changed your voter ID, make sure to change your address.
- Visit your local registrar or board of elections to check the status of polling locations, satellite voting locations, and drop boxes.
- If voting in person on November 3 keep these things in mind:
- If you are not listed as a registered voter, ask the poll worker to contact the local registrar. If they are not available or they can’t find your name, ask for a provisional ballot. You have the right to cast a provisional ballot even if your name is not on the voter list. However, know that your ballot may not be counted if the board of elections finds no record of your registration in the precinct where you cast your vote.
- If you need help using the voting equipment, ask a poll worker for help. Poll workers are required to assist you any time you ask. You can ask for help after entering the voting booth but you should vote privately once you receive help.
- If you make a mistake on a paper ballot or if the machine malfunctions, do NOT cast your ballot! Ask for a replacement ballot. You have the right to do as many replacement ballots as you need. If a machine malfunctions, inform a poll worker and ask to be directed to a different machine or to be given a paper ballot.
- Remember, if you are in line when the polls close, you have the right to vote.
This Year Patience Is A Virtue
Every eligible voter should have his or her voice heard and his or her vote counted. Counting votes and verifying a winner in this year’s election will take longer – and that’s okay. Due to the coronavirus and health concerns, more people will be voting absentee than ever before.
Absentee ballots take longer to count because of security measures to verify the accuracy of those ballots. Some jurisdictions can’t start counting absentee ballots until after polls have closed on election night. Plus, due to the pandemic, election officials will be working with reduced staff. A complete and accurate vote count will take longer this year. It is unlikely that a winner will be declared on election night.
What is important is that every ballot is counted, and the election is fair.