Photo by Anna Hoychuk via Shutterstock

With just a week until election day, over 50 million ballots have already been returned by mail. This number is about 37% of the total number, or 137 million, of mail-in ballots in the 2016 election.

While mail-in-voting has been an option for some in previous elections, the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020 has made the process temporarily more available to states that had stricter processing rules.

Nine states have taken the precautions further by ensuring a ballot is mailed to every registered voter regardless of whether they requested one or not.

With over eight million COVID-19 cases in the United States, people are concerned about the safety of in-person voting. Mail-in voting allows people to vote with almost no contact with anyone, making their chances of contracting the virus while voting almost non-existent.  

However, mail-in fraud has also been a concern, as there have been some reports of ballots found in trash cans across the country. 

The U.S Election Assistance Committee reported that 140,114,502 million Americans voted in the 2016 election. Many experts believe that over 150 million people will be voting in this year’s election which would make it one of the largest voter turnout to date. 

Even with a large number of people mailing their vote, many people are vehement about voting in person and their safety, too, has not been forgotten.

The CDC posted a toolkit on their website that includes suggestions for keeping voters and polling station workers less likely to contract the disease. 

The U.S Vote Foundation has compiled a list of locations by state where ballots can be dropped off. Ballots being mailed must be postmarked by election day to be counted and ballots being dropped off must be in a designated location by 8:00 PM on election day.

Written ByKarissa Leuschen

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