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New Guide Shows You How to Vote at Home in Your State

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Created: 16 April, 2024
2 min read

Photo Credit: Tiffany Tertipes on Unsplash

Many voters prefer the ease and convenience of being able to cast a ballot by mail. However, the rules that govern mail-in and absentee voting are not always well-known -- especially since they vary from state to state.

The National Vote at Home Institute (NVHI), a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) group, announced the launch of a comprehensive state-by-state guide Tuesday to help people navigate the vote at home processes where they live.

“More Americans voted at home in 2020 than by any other method, and that helped drive voter turnout to its highest level in more than a century,” said NVHI Executive Director Barbara Smith Warner.

“While the popularity of Vote at Home has continued to grow, many states have changed their rules on how to access it. As we approach the next presidential election, we want to make sure that voters can continue to utilize the safety and convenience of voting at home.”

Many states amended their vote at home policies during the 2020 election cycle in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, more voters than ever before had access to mail-in ballots -- and people responded positively to it.

As pointed out, many states have changed their rules in the last 4 years. Some states reverted back to their pre-pandemic policies, some states cemented ease of access to mail-in ballots, and some put in place tougher restrictions.

The NVHI reports that 3-in-4 US voters can cast a ballot by mail for any reason, and 40% of voters either receive their ballot automatically or can opt-in to have their ballot delivered to them for all future elections.

The organization asserts that the ability to vote at home not only offers convenience, but gives voters more time to return their ballot and eliminates concerns over long lines at local polling locations. 

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"As an Oregonian, I've been Voting at Home since 2000. Now, in a year that faces poll worker shortages, long wait times and safety concerns, we want to help as many voters as possible to Vote at Home," said Smith Warner.

In the coming months, many voters will want to know things like: How do I request a mail-in or absentee ballot? Is a witness required when I sign my finished ballot? What is the proper way to return a ballot?

And, for those concerned about their ballot being honored or the security of it, they may ask: Can I track my ballot and verify that it was received? And, if there is an issue with it, how can said issue be resolved?

The NVHI says its guide has the answers to all of these questions and more. The group hopes that civic engagement groups across the US will use the guide and integrate vote at home into their voter registration and engagement programs. 

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