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Voting against absent voting: All differences to know before election day


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This story is part of Val 2020, CNET’s coverage of the introduction of the vote in November.

As coronavirus frequency continues to increase In many areas of the United States, most states make it easier to vote by mail in local elections, as well as the upcoming November 3 presidential election. But each state has its own rules for voting for or absent. Many are still in the process of deciding how to handle them voting during the pandemic. And with different terms being tossed around, it can be difficult to figure out what all the different options really mean.

Here’s what you need to know about the various voting options available to you on election day and how to find out what your state is doing.

Read more: Before the 2020 election: Tips for finding information you can trust

What is absence?

Every US state allows submission, absence, but usually only in certain circumstances. For example, in the past, many states only allowed you to have an absentee ballot if you were deployed to the United States Armed Forces, were out of town on election day, or were ill.

In the midst of the pandemic, however, at least 35 states have changed their abstention voting policies, allowing all voters to apply for absences to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. Some states call the extended absenteeism criteria “no excuse for absenteeism”, a term that indicates that you do not have to explain why you want an absentee ballot like you did before – but you still have to fill out an application and request one, either online or by email.

However, other states have decided to automatically send an absentee ballot to each citizen or a form to request one. This is when we begin to see the term mail-in voting – as opposed to absentee voting – used to refer to a broader policy of absentee voting for all.

If you are in the United States, you must be registered to vote before you can cast an ballot. (You can register to vote online in 40 states and the District of Columbia.) But if you are currently abroad or a military member, you have a few other options.

To find out your state’s current absence laws, you can use this tool to find your state or local polling station.

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What is email voting?

The terms absence voting and post-in voting are often used interchangeably. However, some electoral authorities have begun to use the term “ballot” or “postal voting” to extend absenteeism during the pandemic to include persons who are not actually absent from their constituency at the time of voting. .

In a number of states, including California, Delaware and Illinois, ballots will be automatically sent to each eligible voter without request or application being required, so some election officials use the terms “all-vote” or “universal suffrage by mail.” Nevertheless, a limited number of polling stations will probably be available for those who want to vote in person.

In the end, when states talk about ballot papers, they are basically talking about all the ballot boxes that are sent by mail. In some states, this may mean all votes that are not excused. In others, it may mean all the general votes via postal votes. So different states can use different terms.

Read more: Experts warn coronavirus pandemic creates new choice security threats.

So what’s the real difference between absentee ballots and ballot papers?

Usually, polled polls refer to polls that are requested and then sent when a person can not vote in person. Hand-in votes refer to ballot papers in connection with policies that make it possible for everyone to vote by post.

Will my post vote be included in the final result?

Yes. All votes are counted in local or presidential elections, whether you vote in person or by mail. A common myth is that absences are only counted during frequent competitions, but this is not correct. Many elections have a clear winner and votes cast, many of which come from abroad, are sometimes counted in the following days, which gives the impression that they were not included in the count. However, the final mood reflects submission choices. As email voting becomes more popular, they will be more integrated into upcoming election results, Vote.org noted. Election authorities also say that it is almost impossible to commit voter fraud by mail.

On September 3, the US State Department issued an intelligence service warning that Russia is likely to continue to intensify criticism of the vote-by-post process in order to undermine public confidence in the US election process.

It is important to note that post-in ballots – both traditional absentee ballots and extensive votes per vote by mail – may be rejected. During the 2016 presidential election, missing or unconfirmed signatures and late arrivals were the most common reasons for a vote not being counted, according to a report from the US Election Commission. Make sure you read the instructions on your ballot paper carefully and fill it in correctly. And when applicable, check the state deadlines for requesting or sending an absent vote to make sure you get it sent on time.

What other types of voices are there?

Other types of voting include:

Personal vote: This is what you usually think about during an election: People who go to a local polling station to vote in person on election day or earlier.

Early voting: Most states allow qualified voters to vote in person for a specified period of time before election day. Early voting can begin as early as 45 days before an election or as late as the week before. The aim is usually to increase turnout and reduce congestion on election day polls. Find out if your state offers early voting by searching for your state election office here.

For more, check out all of CNET’s 2020 coverage.

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