‘Grab your tias, tios, abuelos’: Everything you need to be ready to vote in Nov - Front Page Live

‘Grab your tias, tios, abuelos’: What you need to know to be ready to vote in November

With over 5.5 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, and November fast approaching, one of the most debated topics? How to conduct elections during a pandemic safely.

Enter, mail-in voting.

Many politicians have pushed forth the false argument that mail-in voting leads to voter fraud. There are conveyor belts of misinformation on the subject in social media and low confidence that these platforms can clamp down on the problem.

The best defense citizens can mount is to educate ourselves, here are key things to know about voting by mail, because “we have got to vote like our lives depend on it.”

1. Register to vote

Man holding a sign that says "Register early to vote"

Unsplash / Annie Bolin

Visit vote.gov to register to vote or to confirm your registration.

In some states, like Colorado, the DMV automatically registers residents to vote. Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, and Utah also have automatic registration in place, and Vermont, California, and the District of Columbia have recently upgraded to automatic voter registration due to COVID.

For best results tackle this right away.  If you wait for Election Day on November 3 it will be too late.

Anybody remember David Archuleta?  Don’t be David Archuleta.

2. Check your state’s rules & deadlines

Blank map of the United States

Flickr / DonkeyHotey

Each state has different deadlines about when mail-in ballots need to be applied for, postmarked, and returned to a ballot drop box. You can check here for your state’s rules.

With the pandemic raging on, election administrators are expecting a surge in absentee ballot applications this fall.

To ensure that you don’t burden the U.S. Postal Service at the very last second, and to make sure your vote is counted, you can request one right now.

3. Wait, what if I’m stuck in another country?

The US is not issuing new passports unless it's a 'life-or-death' family emergency


This means that you need to be on top of your mail-in voting game because every vote counts!

You can get all the details on how to vote, and request an absentee ballot here.

4. Why Latino votes especially matter in this election

People standing in line to vote

Screenshot / Charlotte Observer

For the first time, Latinos are expected to be the nation’s largest racial or ethnic minority voting in a U.S. presidential election.

A Pew Research Center analysis showed that of the 60 million Latinos living in the country, a record 32 million of them are projected to be eligible to vote. That’s 13.3% of all eligible voters — a significant number with the power to help decide who sits in the White House next.

Latinx communities have turned out in large numbers before. For instance, in 2018, young Hispanic voters aged 18-24 exploded by an average of 170 percentage points in California, Texas, Nevada, New York, Illinois, Florida, and New Jersey. Among voters aged 25-34, the increase was as high as 128%.

Those are the kinds of numbers that are likely to shape the upcoming 2020 election. It’s more important than ever for Latinx to vote and vote early to achieve equitable representation in the halls of power.

5. Vote

a roll of vote stickers


Once you receive your absentee ballot, make sure the details are all printed correctly (if it is damaged, contact your state’s election office to request a replacement).

After you’ve marked your ballot, don’t forget to sign the declaration/oath on the envelope.

To make mail-in voting easier, most states cover postage fees too. But if you decide to drop off your precious vote at an official dropbox near you, wear a mask, social-distance, and wash your hands.

6. Can I track my ballot?

A hand placing a ballot in a box


The good news is that some states have created tools where voters can track their mail-in vote ballots online.

For instance, this year California launched a Where’s My Ballot tracker which allows people to check when their ballots are received and counted. Michigan, Arizona, and Massachusetts have their own versions of the tracker too.

Check your state’s local election website to see if you are eligible to track your vote.

Our country has rarely seen such engagement in democracy, and mail-in voting is an established, safe option available to you.  See you at the polls!  (virtually)

Disclaimer: This sponsored article was produced and distributed in partnership with Latino Victory Project, in support of the Vote Like a Madre campaign.

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