As we all know, Trump is trying to steal the election by (among other things) buggering the postal service. Rep. Ted Lieu understands the scale of the emergency, and he says everyone who’s voting by mail needs to mail in their ballots by October 22:
The House cannot adequately fund USPS without the consent of @POTUS. Only other option is veto override with Senate. Does that seem remotely plausible? NO.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) August 13, 2020
Other people say Democrats should vote in person if they can and vote early to 1) reduce the chance of having to stand in line for hours and risk their health, and 2) foil Trump’s obvious scheme, which is to hope for an election day lead and cry foul if it evaporates when mail-in votes are counted.
The thing is, every state has its quirks. Some accept ballots postmarked prior to election day even if received after, while other states require that the ballot is received by a designated hour on election day.
In my county here in Florida, you can vote in person even if you requested a mail-in ballot, but you’re supposed to bring the mail-in ballot with you to the polls. I don’t know what happens if you show up without it. Provisional ballot maybe?
Some states/counties provide secure 24/7 drop-boxes to collect mail-in ballots. Others don’t but will accept them at the supervisor of elections office. So maybe the best approach is to review your county’s supervisor of elections site to familiarize yourself with the rules in your location.
It’s also a good idea to periodically check your registration status, particularly if you live in a state that has a Republican governor and/or secretary of state. Brian Kemp was only the most recent Republican to blatantly steal an election by purging eligible voters from the rolls.
In 2000, then-Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his corrupt Secretary of State Katherine Harris set Jeb’s brother George up to steal the 2000 election with massive, flawed voter purges.
That’s why I’ve periodically checked my voter registration status for the last two decades. (I’ve never been purged, maybe because I’m a white lady with a name that screams, “I’m a white lady.” Florida’s Republican governors tend to be demographically selective in their purges.)
So, here’s my voting plan: when my husband and I receive the mail-in ballots we requested, we’ll fill them out immediately and drop them off at the 24/7 lock box our county provides. It’s a longish drive to another town, but what the hell — it’s a scenic drive.
This plan ensures we won’t have to depend on the USPS to return our ballots on time. It also means our votes will be banked, even if we die in a plane crash before November 3. (The plane would have to crash into our sofa — we hated flying even before the pandemic.)
In our county, the supervisor of elections has to mail ballots to voters no later than 33 days before election day. When you return it, there’s an online portal where you can confirm your ballot was received and tabulated, so we’ll be doing that. If we don’t receive our ballots by mid-October, we’ll visit the supervisor of elections office in person to investigate the delay.
If the mail-in ballots never show up, we’ll go to the polls in person on election day and demand the right to exercise our franchise. I’ll hand-cuff myself to the auditorium doors if necessary, though I don’t think my husband would go that far.
As you can see, my voting plan needs work, but here’s my point: now is the time to think about possible contingencies. What’s your voting plan?