Hey, Remember How I Pester You All About Voting? Guess What! I’m Doing It Again!

John ScalziOh, hello there! It’s the last day of August — I know, it only feels like a year since August first — and after this it’s two months and three days until Election Day here in the United States. Here’s what we know about that:

* The president and the GOP would be very happy for most of us not to vote.

* The president and the GOP are going out of their way to make it difficult for many of us to vote, especially by mail.

* If the election doesn’t go their way, the president and the GOP will make every effort to say that the vote they went out of their way to make difficult is somehow tainted.

Commensurately, to mitigate the points above, the following things need to happen:

1. If you’re a fully-enfranchised adult US citizen, you must register to vote, and if you are registered, you must check the current state of your registration to make sure you have not been purged from the voter rolls. Then you must encourage every other fully enfranchised adult US citizen you know to do the same thing. Do it today; registration deadlines are coming very soon.

2. You must have a plan to vote. Personally I recommend finding out if and when early voting is available in your state, and then showing up physically to vote early. Alternately, if you vote by mail, request your ballot today (or as early as possible), fill it out the day you receive it, and either deliver it physically to your local board of elections or mail it as soon as you have filled it out. Double-check it, sign it, make sure you use sufficient postage, and if your state has it, track the status of your ballot so you know it’s been received.

If you intend to vote on Election Day itself, look today to locate your polling place, know how to get there and how you will get there. Ask for help from friends, family or neighbors if you need it. If your state requires identification, know what ID is required, and if you don’t have it, use these two months and three days to acquire it. Again, ask for help if you need it. If you can, take the day off to vote; this year of all years you might have some vacation time you haven’t used (if you can’t take the day off, then see above, about voting early). Have a plan to stay in line for as long as it takes. If you are in line, you are allowed to vote.

The president and the GOP are hoping very much that you don’t have a plan to vote. It makes their job of keeping you from voting that much easier. So, today, make your plan to vote. Vote early if you can, but however you vote, make that plan and keep to that plan.

3. If you can vote, this year you must vote. You have two months and three days to learn about the candidates — local, state and federal — and the issues on the ballots. More than enough time to get informed and make informed choices and do your part for the country. This is not a year to sit out or to pretend that it doesn’t matter who you vote for. It matters. You must vote. Everyone you know who can vote must vote. All the people you don’t know who can vote must vote.

If we are all registered to vote, all have a plan to vote, and all vote, the harder it will be for anyone to (credibly) assert the election was not legitimate. It’s simple as that.

So: Are you registered to vote? Have you checked your registration? Do you have a plan to vote? And will you vote on or by November 3, 2020?

If the answer to any of the above is “no,” you have two months and three days to fix that.

Get to it.

— JS

60 Comments on “Hey, Remember How I Pester You All About Voting? Guess What! I’m Doing It Again!”

  1. Quick notes:

    1. Mallet is out. Play nice, folks.

    2. If you are going to suggest the president and the GOP aren’t going out of their way to make voting difficult, I’m going to point and laugh at you and then I will probably Mallet your comment for being contentiously trollish and not contributing to the conversation.

    3. If you’re going to post “of course I’m gonna vote! For Trump, lol!” a) good, you’re voting, that is indeed the whole point of the piece, b) you’re voting for literally the worst president since the Civil War, who is actual human trash, and think what says about you, but, okay, you do you.

    4. If you’re going to (almost certainly self-righteously) explain that you’re not going to vote this year even though you can, a) I don’t care, b) fuck off, c) I’ll probably Mallet your comment.

    5. Yes, I’m aware Trump is gonna argue he didn’t really lose no matter what the margin. Run up the margins anyway, folks.

    6. I would like for this thread not to feature a lot of hand-wringing about what happens after the voting happens. We’ll have time for all that later, folks. Let’s focus on getting the vote out for now.

  2. For folks in Georgia, you can now request your Nov 3rd ballot online without having to print and mail anything. You will need your GA driver’s license number or state ID number in order to complete the form. (Unfortunately if you don’t have a GA state issued ID you can’t use the site .. baby steps here, I guess.)

    They will mail you a ballot and you can either send it by return mail or drop it off at an official ballot box.

    https://ballotrequest.sos.ga.gov/

  3. Thanks.

    1. We are registered, and have a plan. We’re voting by mail, and if something goes wrong there: a) live across the street from the Registrar’s office, and b) the polling place is closer.

    2. Per Obama’s recommendation, I have checked that our friends and family have a plan to vote. Dozens of people in half a dozen states; they all have a plan. It’s like this blogpost, but uh … texts.

    3. I’ve donated to Biden. Seems like a good next step. I should do that more.

  4. Plan formulated, mail-in ballot requested, poised to read all the fine print and to complete ballot per directions, and ready to send it in EARLY. Then wait….awful suspense….

  5. In my jurisdiction, it’s possible to vote without ID, but it’s much more difficult. In other words, there are more things that can go wrong, more opportunities for your vote to get lost. Especially if you go in expecting to use your ID and then find out your ID is invalid. You might have to scramble to find attestors or whatever other hurdles your jurisdiction makes you jump if you don’t have ID and then run out of time during the scramble. So I recommend that you ensure you have valid ID even if you theoretically don’t need it.

    N.B. My jurisdiction is not in the United States so my advice might not be relevant. I suspect it is, though.

  6. Anyone in Wisconsin go to https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/ and after using “Search By Name” and entering your legal first and last name and birthdate, you can:

    1) Check your registration status,

    2) Find the date of the next election and YOUR polling place,

    3) Request an absentee ballot (and if you need to give them your ID a photo of your driver’s license works),

    4) Check the status of your absentee request (mine is approved and is waiting to be prepared, as you could request it well in advance of official nominations),

    5) Check your voting history.

    All in one spot. Also, you can turn in your ballot rather than trust that USPS will manage to overcome the hurdles the administration is putting up as fast as possible. I live in a wealthy suburb north of Milwaukee, so it’s as easy as cruising past city hall, they verify that the documentation is correct (the witness stuff is on the outside) and you’re done. I’ve voted twice this year using this exact method and per point 5, my vote counted.

  7. For those of us in California, this link to the CA Secretary of State should have everything you need: https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/

    There are other sites that can assist more if you need it. I’m registered to vote absentee, and I’ll be dropping off my ballot and my wife’s ballot the day after it arrives at our house. Thank you John for pushing on this.

  8. If you are a US citizen who lives abroad, you need to apply for a ballot every year! Information on eligibility and how to apply here: https://www.fvap.gov/citizen-voter/overview

    In general, you vote in the state you last lived in (or the state that a parent/legal guardian last lived in if you have never lived in the US).

  9. I’m pretty fortunate in that I live in Saint Johns County Florida (St. Augustine area) and the county seriously has it’s shit together. Last month, I went out to their web site to see what it would take to get mail in ballots. The answer: fill out a web form with about 4 items on it – including the checkbox for “I’d like to do mail in for the next 2 elections” and you’re done. 4 days later, my August 18 ballot showed up, I filled it out and sent it in. Then, I could track on the web site that they’d received it, and then counted it – and that was done within 3 days of mailing it back. And because every single interaction I’ve had with the county has been this painless since I moved here, I expect the November election to go every bit as smoothly.

    So what I’m saying here – is that if your county has it together (and your state lets them have it together without setting up arbitrary BS rules), the whole thing is simple, painless, and quick. It can work, it does work.

  10. Washington state is all by mail.

    But when I get my ballot, I plan to spend a couple hours to fill it out. (A little googling on one candidate revealed he was spouting off stuff that was objectively untrue. Easy vote against).

    Then I plan to take a photograph of that ballot (will NOT post, though).

    Then I plan to drive to the county elections board and leave my ballot in their box.

  11. If you live in Colorado, are a registered voter (do check!) and meet the criteria we need Election Judges (Poll Workers) badly!

    Apply at https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/electionJudges.html

    Deadline for CO Voter Registrations:

    – October 9 – Counties will begin mailing ballots for the November 3rd General Election.

    – October 26 – deadline to register to vote or update your registration and still receive a ballot in the mail. (Commentary: I personally believe this date might be too late this year – consider doing this at least by October 1st. Better yet, do it today!)

    – In Colorado, you can register to vote and vote in person up to 7 PM on Election Day.

    Check your registration, register and find more info at
    https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/main.html

  12. Not to mention that some of you have primary elections coming up before November.

    Here in Massachusetts we have a primary TOMORROW. It will effectively be the final election for many offices; the Republican Party doesn’t bother to contest some offices in this blue state, and in some others a Democratic victory is a foregone conclusion. It’s too late to register for the primary but you can (and should) vote if you are already registered. You still have time to register to vote in November, and to request a mail-in ballot for that election if that is your choice.

  13. In addition: Educate yourself on down ballot races. Trump isn’t operating in a vacuum.

    The senate decided to keep Trump in power. Your state government gerrymanders your voting districts. Your mayor likely supports a police force that refuses to be responsible for bias in the way they work. DAs, judges and sheriffs all run on putting people in jail, rather than putting the right people there.

    If you only vote to vote for president, you’re voting to keep the system he represents in place.

  14. John,

    Really appreciate the nag!

    My whole family are set for Michigan’s “no excuse” absent voter (MAIL IN) ballot but will use our township drop box to lessen the load on the Postal System. Ballots will be dropped off the day they are received; we have our emails on file in case of any potential problems with the enclosure (signatures don’t look right to the untrained eye, etc.).

    And I am nagging people as well. As the election date gets closer I will offer rides and reminders to any who will vote in person, though I may do poll work instead, in which case my son will handle rides.

  15. I’ve been posting registration/absentee exhortation on Facebook every Tuesday for the past month, and plan on continuing through the election.

  16. And if you live in Minnesota:

    Early Voting: https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/other-ways-to-vote

    To vote on Election Day: https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/election-day-voting

    If you need to register: https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/register-to-vote

    We began doing early voting (by mail) for our primary, which was earlier in August. The process was simple, and we were able to track our ballots. For November, we’ll receive the ballots via mail and probably take them to the drop box at City Hall.

    Looking at ballot tracking right this moment, it confirms that my primary ballot was counted, and that the November ballots will be mailed out as soon as they become available. Another recent notice said they expect the ballots to be ready mid-September. We’ll see.

  17. To correct my previous post – everywhere I said “country” i meant “county” I apparently have country/county dyslexia.

  18. happy to answer YES to all your bits. I recently moved and immediately asked for and got my new voter registration card. I have asked for a mail in ballot (am in high risk group). Was told the ballots (this is Illinois) will be mailed to us by Sept. 29. Will nag for it if not received. And will return ballot shortly after receipt. Even in a supposedly safe state, that is not reason to slack off. Vote as if your life depended upon it. It might.

  19. What about taking a photo of the completed ballot like in Belarus? I think this is a good plan. I know people worry about privacy but you don’t want your vote to be altered. Just a thought. I am happy to live in a vote by mail state. I just wish they paid for postage for your completed ballot. My dropbox is .2 miles from my house which is easy for me.

  20. Thank you, John, keep nagging!

    Pennsylvania
    Last day to register is Oct. 19.
    There is no early voting.
    You can request a mail-in ballot beginning NOW, up to a week before the election on Tuesday, Nov. 3
    Note that this a week before is pushing it.
    You can mail the ballot, it must be physically there on Election Day,
    You can deliver it to your board of election, which is probably at the County Courthouse.

  21. On it. I’m in California, where all registered voters will be mailed a ballot no later than 29 days prior to Election Day. At the moment I’m leaning voting early (another thing the state allows) just so the anxiety around “will they get it or to” will be reduced. I’m all about reducing anxiety. California also has a “track your ballot” site for mail in ballots. Which makes sense–if FedEx can tell me where my order is, the state can tell me where my ballot is.

    So the important thing is to make sure you’re registered. California makes it pretty simple to find out if you ARE registered, and to register if you’re not. Check here for all the deets: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/.

  22. Done and done. Nagging friends to vote (in MN, it’s easy) and to write letters or postcards to infrequent voters in other states. Probably gonna look into poll work since we’re oldish but healthy. And determined!

  23. Thanks for continually pestering people – I hope EVERYONE will make a plan and will vote. I’m lucky out here in California; even though I’m in a red area, it’s an all mail-in area with a pre-paid ballot and I can drop off my ballot either in a designated dropbox or a mailbox. I plan to vote as soon as I receive my ballot which will be in about 5 weeks. That said: I sincerely hope voting makes a difference. Frankly, I’m terrified that Trump will declare a landslide victory the second the polls close regardless of actual vote counts, and then say that anyone who says otherwise is lying/fake news. Please tell me I’m wrong. Please tell me that can’t and won’t happen in this country!

  24. Are you registered to vote?

    Yup!

    Have you checked your registration?

    Yup!

    Do you have a plan to vote?

    Yup!

    And will you vote on or by November 3, 2020?

    Oh, hells to the everlovin’ yes.

    This post reminds me that it’s time for another one of my periodic PSA reminder emails to all of my contacts. Will get going on that forthwith.

    Preach, Brother Scalzi, preach.

  25. I’ve been voting by mail for over 20 years, and I usually mail it in a couple weeks before the election. One thing I’ve noticed the past few years is, a couple days after I mail in my ballot I quit getting most of the election junk mail. Which is a nice benefit.

    That said, I disagree with the “everybody should vote” idea. I think everyone should be informed and vote. If you only get your news from junk mail, twitter, Facebook, etc, then please stay away.

    I very seldom vote for anyone in school races, judges, etc. Why? Because I just don’t care enough to spend the time to get informed on the candidates, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna go by the Vote for Fred sign on the neighbor’s lawn.

  26. Massachusetts, which has always in the past been stingy with absentee voting, this year changed the law in July. They took about a week to do it, and our GOP Governor signed it. Everyone can vote by mail–so far, this year only, but they’ve said they’re going to see how it goes and consider whether to make it permanent.

    A request form for mail-in ballots went out to every registered voter. I got mine, filled it out, and mailed it back. Got my state primary ballot did some research on the two challengers for our local state representative (the incumbent was recently discovered to have a serious gambling problem, resulting in actions leading to federal charges), made my choices, and on Friday I put that completed ballot in the dropbox at the Elections Department in City Hall.

    Awaiting my general election ballot.

    I’ve got to say it was nice to be able to check my research while filling out the ballot, just in case I’d missed something. I think I’m a convert to this mail-in voting.

  27. This all is such a sad situation. We all have to check and recheck so many issues, such as; what our community or city+the county+the state+the country has for voting rules and places, the voting specifics for the November election, the situation that changes week-by-week for Covid rules, the car’s ability to run or whatever means of traffic we use, the weather, the families+neighbors with or without health problems, and numerous so on. Some of these are done every year but this year, yes it is quite different.
    It is totally a sad, sad, situation in more ways than anyone wants to think about.
    So, keep on “yelling” at us Mr. John Scalzi, I don’t mind the encouragement to vote, my family does not mind, (except perhaps some of my republican relatives), and though I really do have a worry about the state of everybody else’s mind I think I would give them the benefit of the doubt.
    There is no doubt in your mind John, thanks for telling us.

  28. I’m just voting (ha!) in favor of point 4 above.

    Here in San Diego we’ve already got postcards from the registrar of voters asking us to check our information, as they will be sending ballots to the same address they sent the postcards – we’re both permanent mail voters, as the ballot is usually 4 pages long so doing it from home makes sense.

  29. This is the direct lookup site for NC: https://vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup/

    If you are registered, they’ve got links to sample ballots (very useful, including but not only for my son with special needs), your election day site, the districts you are in, voting history, etc. The early voting sites are *not* listed; you have to go to your county BOE site for that. I tend to vote early in-person anyway, intend to do the same this year, given what else is going on.

  30. My local elections (County commissioner, school board, etc), while partisan (meaning candidates identify by political party) really have nothing to do with national political issues and those running have positions on local issues (where to build the new elementary school, should we take part of park and make it a dog park where dogs can run off-leash, etc) that are really party-independent. Accordingly, on local elections I’ve always voted based on local issues and not on any national party positions or candidates.

    Not this time. I want to purge anyone with an (R) after their name to send a message that any affiliation with the national party and the person who heads its ticket is anathema to me.

  31. Not only am I registered and and ready to vote, I became a notary public to help others vote.

    You see, in the State of Missouri, there are two types of not-in-person voting: Absentee, and Mail-In.

    Absentee voting requires an excuse not including fear of COVID-19, unless you happen to be in a high-risk group. Anybody can request a mail-in ballot, but the kicker is that the ballot has to be notarized. So I’ve put the word out for anyone within reasonable distance to get in touch with me if they need their mail-in ballot notarized. I’ll even have stamps with me.

  32. Whether you can vote absentee without getting your ballot notarized by a notary public (which is also painful because notaries are limited in how many ballots each one can notarize, etc.) will, by all appearances, be unknown in Oklahoma until 45 days before the election (due to wording in the bill allowing the copy-of-ID instead of notarized thing), so that sucks.

    On the plus side, Oklahoma citizens now *will* be able to find out (probably) 45 days before instead of it being dependent on the *national* state of emergency, which could have been flipped the day before voting and thus invalidate all the mail-in ballots. So! This is an improvement! Just… not much of an improvement.

    Washington, of course, just does its usual thing, as it has been for a while. :-)

    Also, everyone: look closely at the rules for a valid mail-in ballot in your state, read them several times, fill in all bubbles completely rather than x-ing them (if those are the rules – they usually are?), make sure everything matches and lines up and is precisely in accordance with the rules, make sure your ID and voter registration and signature *all are the same* including middle name/initial vs. not, Jr. vs II, etc. Give people zero possible excuses for throwing out your ballot.

  33. Thanks—I recently moved to this state and had registered when I acquired my new driver’s license. Used your handy link to double check and no: there is a problem which requires a trip to the county clerk’s office. On it now, and thank you again.

  34. Frankly, I’m terrified that Trump will declare a landslide victory the second the polls close regardless of actual vote counts, and then say that anyone who says otherwise is lying/fake news.

    Of course that’s what he’ll do, but happily, it’s not his job (or his right) to certify election results for any office, much less his own.

  35. I’ve got my voter registration card on the table, double-checked my voting location, am scouting out early voting locations just in case, and am certain my driver’s license is up to date and many years from expiration.

    Technically, I just need my driver’s license, but I’m not taking any chances. It’s too damned important this year.

  36. I damn well DO research the local races. I don’t want anti-science ignorami like creationists to take over the school board or real estate heavies to take over all the spots on the local board.

  37. I too am registered to vote (just checked – thanks for the nag). As someone who qualifies for absentee voting here in South Carolina, I requested absentee ballots for both the primary and general elections early in the year. And I have a plan with several options.

    1) I may get my absentee ballot early in October. If it arrives early enough and the mail continues to be pretty prompt, I will fill it out and mail it, with proper postage (tiny poll tax)

    2) If I get the ballot and don’t feel that it would get to the vote counters in time, I will fill it out, and get an Uber to take me to the voter registration office for my county, where I can drop it off.

    3) If I don’t get the ballot in a reasonable time, I will get the Uber and go to the voter registration office and vote (NOT early) Absentee in Person

    Maybe the rules will change. Our Governor did change the rules for the primary not long before the election, so this may happen again.

  38. I’m registered and ready to vote because Zeus told me to. It might seem crazy to take direction from a cat on such an important matter, but in 2020 America, it’s only half a standard deviation from normal.

  39. Hi John. Fellow Ohioian here. I had planned on voting early and in person at the Hamilton County Board of Election, but then found out that any ballot cast early is considered an absentee ballot. The same as actual mail in absentee ballots. The problem with this is that votes cast in person on November 3rd are tallied first. If a significant number of Democrats vote early …. and a significant number of Republicans vote on election day as they are being told to do, Trump and sycophants could (will!) Claim victory in swing states based on the early day of votes favoring Trump. Then he will shout fraud as the absentee ballots are counted and Trump and Republicans lose that early lead. I can also see a push by Republicans to disrupt the counting of absentee ballots…. Or maybe not counting them at all. So, my voting plan is NOW to show up on at my long-time precinct two blocks from my home and vote on November 3rd. I’m hoping for the best…. But am prepared for a total shit show.

  40. I haven’t missed a single election in forty years, since I became of voting age. I’m in NYC, so my vote and my wife’s won’t matter except to pile onto the popular count, but our son is studying in Ann Arbor and is registered there, so he can push that swing a bit leftward.

  41. For all the Texas folks out there – Here’s some dates:
    Last Day to Register to Vote Monday, October 5, 2020
    First Day of Early Voting by Personal Appearance Tuesday, October 13, 2020
    Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail
    (Received, not Postmarked) Friday, October 23, 2020
    Last Day of Early Voting by Personal Appearance Friday, October 30, 2020
    Last day to Receive Ballot by Mail Tuesday, November 3, 2020
    from https://www.votetexas.gov/voting/when.html#early-voting

    and in my county early voters can go to any polling stations.

  42. Tennessee information…

    We have a decent early voting period here, but mail-in requires an excuse. The good news is that having contributing factors which elevate your COVID-19 risk, or being a caretaker for someone who does, is now considered an acceptable excuse, and no doctor’s note is required. The BAD news is that such mail-in ballots MUST go through a formal delivery service (USPS, UPS, FedEx) – in other words, they CANNOT BE DROPPED OFF IN PERSON and must arrive by or on Election Day. The voter is responsible for postage.

    https://sos.tn.gov has more information as well as the absentee ballot application form, which is a PDF which can be downloaded, filled out, and either emailed (provided you have a way to affix a digital copy of your signature to the application) or printed and mailed in.

    Remember that voting in person requires photo ID and considerable patience. I also recommend bringing a few snacks, some water, and possibly a cane.

  43. Thanks for bugging people! I am lucky in this matter. Colorado has had all mail-in voting for several years, and we seem to have it organized. I checked my registration, just to be sure, and it’s fine. Delivering the ballot is truly a walk in the park: There’s a drop box in a city park near me. My husband and I often go over together and stroll around afterwards–well, might walk briskly as this will be November.

  44. Addendum to earlier post…..

    I checked with an acquaintance who works for the Hamilton County Ohio Board of Elections. She told me that all mail in and in person early votes ARE classified as absentee ballots…. You are voting absent from your assigned precinct. But she also told me that the counting of absentee ballots can begin anytime before election day at the discretion of the Secretary of State ( in Ohio a Republican). Tallying of absentee ballots in Ohio must begin no later than the time when polls open on November 3rd. The count of absentee ballots cannot be released until the polls close in accord with Ohio state election law. She said that in Hamilton County the absentee tally has always been added to the vote count at the time when the polls close. She did say that some counties in Ohio are a little lax about the absentee ballot tally release.

    Here is the link she sent me which outlines how each state deals with absentee ballots: https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/vopp-table-16-when-absentee-mail-ballot-processing-and-counting-can-begin.aspx

    So what is my/our plan NOW for voting? Although I prefer to vote in person at my precinct on election day, I will differ to my wife and vote early in person at our BOE, which is only a mile from our home, on October 7th. We just decided on this plan
    Then must have faith that this election doesn’t go too far off the rails of normal.

  45. Thank you, John. Both my wife and I are ready to go as soon as our ballots arrive. I had recently received an email from the Secretary of State (CA) that had a link for tracking my ballot which I set up right away. I’m feeling good about being prepared. Let’s cross our fingers for a good result.

  46. Here’s the early-voting link for Nebraska: https://sos.nebraska.gov/elections/early-voting-0 . Page includes links to print out an application for absentee/vote by mail and check your registration status.

    I’ve been doing early voting for years now, because my work schedule tends to get scrambled at a moment’s notice. It’s simpler to vote early instead of counting on getting to the polling station on election day in time. This year I did vote by mail (technically vote by election commission dropbox) for the primary, and have sent in my card to do the same in November.

    I was seriously thinking about signing up to work the polls, but I live with someone who is high risk for Covid — bad enough going to work every day when I have a plexiglass screen between me and the people ignoring the local mask mandate.

  47. What gwangung said: As a Washingtonian, I will fill out my vote-by-mail ballot as soon as I get it *and* take a photo of the completed ballot (I hadn’t thought of this; thanks, gwangung!), then drive to the Board of Elections office to hand it in, in person.

    I have also volunteered with about four organizations to be a poll watcher/voter escort, if needed, in other states where voting is done in person.

  48. Be very, very cautious if you choose to photograph your ballot! It is entirely understandable in this climate, but please do not post it to social media or any publicly viewable location. Leaving aside the debate about whether or not such an activity *SHOULD* be legal, a number of states restrict or outright disallow publicizing one’s election choices. Please don’t learn the hard way that you live in one of those states, and also please don’t give anyone an excuse to toss your ballot.

  49. Thanks for the reminder. I just used my state’s “Track Your Absentee Ballot” page to verify that they received my ballot request a few days ago. Ballots won’t be mailed until the beginning of October, so now I wait.

  50. Thank you for the reminder. I’m a US citizen living abroad in Ireland. I registered in March, but will be placing a call to the county commissioner’s office in San Antonio this afternoon to follow up. This is bar none the most important election of my life and inching my way towards sixty. #BidenHarris2020

  51. [Deleted unread after “this might get malleted” because I have decided to institute a general rule that people who declare their comment might get malleted/deleted/removed right up front want the comment to be deleted to make themselves feel happy about whatever damn fool thing they’ve said in the post, and who am I to disappoint them — JS]

  52. I’m in New York State.

    1. I discovered that there is a website to see if you are registered to vote in New York, assuming you know what county and zip code you are registered in:
    https://voterlookup.elections.ny.gov/

    I was happy to see that I’m registered at my correct address and am “active”

    2. My ex is a retired attorney and attended a CLE session on voting issues. Here are her notes:

    There were horrible issues with the [New York] primary

    * absentee ballots sent out late
    * post office failed to postmark many ballots, especially in Brooklyn
    * long lines in Westchester on election day
    * voters not given all the ballots that were supposed to be voted on
    * poll workers not able to get to polling locations due to subway closures
    * voting locations refusing to allow voting to occur there

    All of the above resulted in tens of thousands of voters being disenfranchised.

    The current recommendation is that you vote early for the general election, There will be at least 9 days available and you can vote at any early voting location in your county. Early voting was very lightly attended during the primary — so this is going to be safer from a social distancing perspective than election day. Masks will be required — and I think they said provided.

    About absentee ballots:

    * order the ballot through the online portal, if possible Ordering by snail mail means you go through a vendor and a lot of those were mailed out late during the last election cycle. The portal goes directly to the BOE

    * you can order an absentee ballot based on fear of covid

    * if you use the postal service, mail at least 15 days early to avoid postal service issues

    * you can drop off absentee ballots at: the BOE, early voting locations, and the polls. There will be a box at the entry so you don’t have to stand in line

    * you can drop off an absentee ballot for some one else if the ballot is in a privacy envelope. There is no limit as to how many you can drop off for others, but please try to avoid dropping off suspiciously large numbers to avoid allegations of fraud

    [Note to Webmaster.: blockquote tag results in lines being centered, not left-aligned. No obvious way to get around it.]

  53. Already requested ballot but it is taking its own sweet time getting here. Georgia. If it doesn’t show up by early voting, I’ll do that. Not only is Trump on the agenda but we have a decent shot at expelling both of our two stupid senators and Trump enablers.

  54. And if I might make an addendum: Adopt a Senate race, somewhere, anywhere.

    Replacing the president does no good without replacing the Senate as well. I give a monthly donation to Sara Gideon (to get rid of Susan Collins), Amy McGrath (to get rid of McConnell), and John Ossoff (to get rid of David Perdue). I did give to Mark Kelly as well, but he is running away with it. Colorado and Montana are also good places to donate.

    Point is pick a competitive race and give as much as you can as often as you can.