Overdrive Magazine

September 2020

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22 | Overdrive | September 2020 A ll states allow absentee voting, but there are many differences in their procedures and dead- lines. Forty states plus Washington, D.C., allow voters to come to their polling place in-person days or weeks before the election. There are 34 states, plus Washington, D.C., that allow any reg- istered voter to request an absentee ballot without an excuse. Five of those states – Washington, Oregon, Utah, Colorado and Hawaii – conduct their elections with all-mail voting, while also giving voters the option to vote early in-person at the polls. You still can request an absentee ballot in the remaining states, but you have to provide an excuse for why you can't show up to the polls on Election Day. Being out of the jurisdiction because of work is a valid excuse many truck drivers use to request a ballot. The map on page 24 can help you determine what you can do to vote if you know you will not be able to go to your polling place Nov. 3. More detailed information for each state can be found on your state's elec- tion office website. The National Association of Secretaries of State (nass.org/can-i-vote/absentee-early- voting) can send you directly to your state's absentee voting page. As Overdrive went to press, some aspects of states' voting protocols were up in the air due to the debate between President Trump and con- gressional Democrats over whether to allow mail-in voting across the country because of COVID-19 concerns. Some states already had implemented rules to allow any voter to request an absentee ballot, even in states where excuses normally are required. NASS says some states give election officials the authority to implement certain measures in emergency situations, such as a pandemic, often involving the relocation of polling places or special absentee voting procedures. After Hurricane Sandy impacted more than a dozen East Coast states in 2012, governors ordered alter native voting procedures and extended absentee voting deadlines for the November election. If you had planned to vote in-person this year but have health EARLY VOTING PRACTICES VARY WIDELY BY STATE BY MATT COLE Voter registration deadlines var y by state, but none are earlier than 30 days before Election Day. Online voter registration is available in 39 states and Washington, D.C. Visit vote.org/voter-registra- tion-deadlines for a complete list of states' registration dead- lines. All states but one require voters to register before being allowed to vote. Nor th Dakota simply requires bringing valid proof of ID and residency to the polls to vote. Some states allow in-person registration at the polls on Election Day. If you aren't sure if you are registered to vote, or if you can't remember the loca- tion of your polling place, the National Association of Secretaries of State has a page that can direct you to your state's registration status page (www.nass.org/can-I-vote/ voter-registration-status). Registering to vote

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