Absentee Voting vs. Mail-In Voting

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With the 2020 election just around the corner, there’s been a lot of confusion about absentee voting versus mail-in voting. So let’s straighten it out.

The first thing to understand is that, though there is a slight technical difference between mail-in and absentee voting, they’re essentially the same thing: a convenient alternative to live voting.

And with the threat of COVID-19 still present, alternatives to live voting are more important than ever. So who can vote by mail?

In Danny’s home state, Ohio, any voter with up-to-date registration information can vote by mail. This is true in many states.

Why should you vote by mail? There are a few reasons you may choose to do so.

First, you can vote from the comfort of your own home. Second, you can avoid long lines at the polls on Election Day. Third, you can take your time researching candidates and issues. Finally, and most importantly, you can reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19.

What about absentee votes? How are those counted?

Lots of people believe that absentee ballots are only counted during really tight races. This misconception stems from two things: one, absentee ballots are often counted for days after election night because many are coming from abroad. And two, many elections have a clear winner, so the absentee ballots that are still being counted after election night don’t affect the results.
But this doesn’t mean absentee votes aren’t counted. For example, in Ohio, absentee ballots are the first votes counted on election night.

Absentee voting has been around since the Civil War, when troops voting from the battlefield helped Abraham Lincoln win reelection. And this year’s election is likely to see more absentee ballots than ever.

So if you want to stay safe from COVID-19, vote by mail. You ballot will be safe, too.

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