Regardless of your political affiliation, voting is one of the most important forms of civic engagement in the United States. Elections are held every year, but every four years, when a Presidential election occurs, there is generally an increase in voter interest. This year, especially with the problems caused by COVID-19, it is important to have a plan for how you will exercise your right to vote.
There are several websites that provide information on voting rules and processes in every state and this is by no means an exhaustive list:
Vote.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan get out the vote and voting registration platform. Users can check their voter registration status, register to vote, request an absentee ballot, and check the rules and deadlines for voting in each state.
USA.gov is a government website that includes information on voting and elections. The site provides information on the process of voting. There are also links to state and local election offices.
Vote411.org was launched by the League of Women Voters Education Fund in 2006. The site provides nonpartisan information on voting all in one place. Users can register to vote, check voter registration status, find out what is on the ballot, and find information specific to voting in each state.
Rock The Vote, which was found in 1990 in response to the censorship of hip-hop and rap artists, works to ensure the civic engagement of youth. The website provides information on registration, early voting, ballot lookup, absentee ballots, and more.
Do not forget that you can always go to your county board of elections website as well as state election website for more information. Here in New York, the state Board of Elections website provides results from elections as well as information on how to register, forms of voting, and important deadlines. The last date for voter registration was October 9, 2020. However, there are still some upcoming dates to keep in mind:
(1) Early voting will take place in New York from October 24 through November 1, 2020. You can go to https://voterlookup.elections.ny.gov/ to find early polling places.
(2) Absentee ballots must be requested by October 27, 2020 online, via email, or fax; and postmarked no later than October 27 if mailed.
(3) Absentee ballots can be requested in person until November 2, 2020.
Due to COVID-19, New York is allowing any voter who is concerned about voting in person during the virus to request an absentee ballot. If you choose to vote using an absentee ballot there are several ways that your ballot can be returned to be counted:
(1) Put your ballot in the mail and ensure it is postmarked no later than November 3.
(2) Drop your ballot off at an early voting poll site during the October 24 – November 1 early voting window.
(3) Drop your ballot off at a polling site before 9 P.M. on Election Day, November 3.
(4) Drop your ballot off at the County Board of Elections no later than 9 P.M. on November 3.
You can always check out our election law research guide for more information.