How to Vote By Mail

Sep 11, 2020/CHASE CENTER

The Warriors have partnered with I Am a Voter to provide education and opportunities for voters to participate is elections to determine important issues as related to the economy, healthcare, education, environment, and more. In many states, this can be easily done so by voting with mail-in ballots.

Many states will allow voters to participate in the 2020 General Election from the comfort of their own home by submitting their ballots through the United States Postal Service (USPS). This can be done through two different methods: voting by mail and early voting.

Currently, 46 states offer some form of voting by mail. Learn more about the two variations of voting by mail below, as well as changes being made for the 2020 General Election. Participation in the election through any means in encouraged because Voters Win!

Mail-in Voting
Voting by mail is an option for anyone who are not able to vote at their designated polling location. Those who wish to vote by mail receive their ballot at their last-known place of residence, then must return it through the USPS or deliver it to a drop-off location themselves any time up through Election Day.

The policies for mail-in voting vary state to state, so anyone interested in opting into such programs should verify the procedure for their respective state.

Five states currently hold all of their elections exclusively by mail. Registered voters in these states are automatically sent a ballot at their reported place of residence. These states are:
- Colorado
- Hawaii
- Oregon
- Washington
- Utah

Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, the following states will join those above in automatically mail ballots to registered voters in November:
- California

  • Nevada
    - New Jersey
    - Vermont
    - Washington, D.C.

    Many states are adopting new or temporary mail-in policies for this upcoming General Election as well. For a list of states making such changes, see “Changes to Mail-In and Early Voting in 2020” below.

    If a member of Dub Nation in the Bay Area would rather hand-in their ballot in person, they will be able to drop-off their mail-in ballots with the Warriors at their ballots in San Francisco, Oakland, and Santa Cruz from October 31 through Election Day on Nov. 3. CLICK HERE for details on locations and drop-off times.

    Early Voting
    Early voting, also known as absentee voting, is a process by which voters can submit their ballots early. There are states that permit doing so with mail-in ballots.

    Additionally, some states permit “no-excuse” early voting, meaning a voter does not need to provide a reason or excuse for being unable to vote on Election Day and can submit their absentee ballot after it has been received by the voter.

    Though some states do not offer “no-excuse” early voting, they still allow for early voting but only if the voter provides a reason for the need to vote early and/or by mail. States may require proof of this reasoning too.

    Check your state’s guidelines for more information on early voting and details on “no-excuse” early voting procedures.

    Changes to Mail-In and Early Voting in 2020
    Most states have changed their voting procedures this year in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the addition and/or extension of mail-in and early voting. Those states which have made such changes are:
    Alabama: Absentee/mail-in voting eligibility requirements suspended, allowing all voters to cast ballots by mail in the November 3, 2020, general election.

    Arkansas: Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) and Secretary of State John Thurston (R) announced that voters in the November 3, 2020, general election would be allowed to cite concerns over COVID-19 as a valid excuse for voting absentee. Hutchinson subsequently issued an executive order formalizing this policy change.

    California: Mail-in ballots sent automatically to all voters in the November 3, 2020, general election.

    Connecticut: Mail-in ballot applications sent automatically to all voters in the August 11, 2020, statewide primary and November 3, 2020, general election. Absentee/mail-in voting eligibility extended to any voter in the August 11, 2020, primary and November 3, 2020, general elections. For the August 11, 2020, primary election, absentee ballot postmark and delivery deadlines extended to August 11, 2020, and August 13, 2020, respectively.

    Delaware: Mail-in ballot applications sent automatically to all voters in the 2020 primary, general, and special elections.

    Georgia: Mail-in ballot applications sent automatically to all voters in the June 9, 2020, primary election. For the November 3, 2020, general election, absentee return postmark and receipt deadlines extended to November 3, 2020, and November 6, 2020, respectively.

    Idaho: Primary conducted by mail. Mail-in ballot applications sent to all registered voters who have not already requested a ballot. Mail-in ballot return deadline extended to June 2, 2020. Implementation of online process for requesting a mail-in ballot.

    Illinois: Mail-in ballot applications sent automatically to all voters in the November 3, 2020, general election.

    Indiana:Absentee/mail-in voting eligibility requirements suspended, allowing all voters to cast ballots by mail in the June 2, 2020, primary election.

    Iowa: Mail-in ballot applications sent automatically to all voters in the June 2, 2020, primary and November 3, 2020, general elections.

    Kentucky:Absentee/mail-in voting eligibility requirements suspended, allowing all voters to cast ballots by mail in the June 23, 2020, primary election. Absentee/mail-in voting eligibility requirements suspended, allowing all voters "concerned with contracting or spreading COVID-19" to cast ballots by mail in the November 3, 2020, general election.

    Maryland: Mail-in ballots sent automatically to all voters in the June 2, 2020, primary (at least one in-person voting center open in each county). Mail-in ballots sent automatically to all voters in the April 28, 2020, special election for Maryland's 7th Congressional District (in-person voting available for those unable to vote by mail). Mail-in ballot applications sent automatically to all voters in the November 3, 2020, general election.

    Massachusetts: Absentee/mail-in voting eligibility extended to all qualified voters in the fall primary and general elections. Mail-in ballot applications sent automatically to all voters in the September 1, 2020, primary election.

    Michigan: Mail-in ballot applications sent automatically to all voters in the August 4, 2020, and November 3, 2020, primary and general elections.

    Minnesota: The absentee/mail-in ballot postmark deadline for the general election was extended to November 3, 2020. Witness requirements for absentee/mail-in ballots cast in the general election were suspended.

    Mississippi: Absentee/mail-in ballot postmark deadline extended to November 3, 2020, for the November 3, 2020, election; receipt deadline extended to November 8, 2020. Absentee voting eligibility extended to individuals under physician-ordered quarantine and individuals caring for dependents under quarantine. Absentee voting eligibility also extended to those with 'pre-existing conditions that cause COVID-19 to present a greater risk of severe illness or death.'

    Missouri: Gov. Mike Parson (R) signed SB631 into law, permitting any registered voter to cast an absentee ballot in any 2020 election, subject to a notarization requirement. Individuals who have contracted COVID-19, and those who are at higher risk for contracting the virus, are exempted from the notarization requirement.

    Montana: Counties authorized to send mail-in ballots automatically to all voters in June 2, 2020, primary and November 3, 2020, general election.

    Nebraska: Mail-in ballot applications sent automatically to all voters in the May 12, 2020, and November 3, 2020, elections.

    Nevada: Mail-in ballots sent automatically to all voters in the June 9, 2020, primary and November 3, 2020, general elections.

    New Hampshire: Absentee/mail-in voting eligibility in the September 8, 2020, primary and the November 3, 2020, general election extended to any voter who is unable to vote in person because of illness resulting from COVID-19 or 'who fears that voting in person may expose himself/herself or others to COVID-19.'

    New Jersey: Mail-in ballots sent automatically to all registered, active Democratic and Republican voters in July 7, 2020, elections. Mail-in ballot applications sent automatically to all unaffiliated and inactive voters. Mail-in ballots sent automatically to all voters in the November 3, 2020, general election. Receipt deadline for ballots postmarked on or before Election Day extended to November 9, 2020. Receipt deadline for ballots without postmarks set as November 5, 2020.

    New Mexico: Counties authorized to send mail-in ballot applications automatically to all voters in the November 3, 2020, election.

    New York: Absentee/mail-in voting eligibility requirements suspended, allowing all voters to cast ballots by mail in the June 23, 2020, primary election. Mail-in ballot applications sent automatically to all voters in the June 23, 2020, primary. Absentee ballot submission deadline extended to June 23, 2020. Absentee/mail-in voting eligibility in the November 3, 2020, general election extended to any voter 'unable to appear personally at the polling place of the election district in which they are a qualified voter because there is a risk of contracting or spreading a disease causing illness to the voter or to other members of the public.' Online portal launched for absentee ballot requests in the November 3, 2020, general election.

    North Carolina: Witness signature requirement for completed absentee ballots reduced from two to one for 2020 elections.

    North Dakota: Counties authorized to conduct June 9, 2020, election largely by mail. Mail-in ballot applications sent automatically to all voters.

    Ohio: Absentee/mail-in voting in the state's primary extended to April 27, 2020. Final date for in-person voting, restricted to individuals with disabilities and those without home mailing addresses, set for April 28, 2020. Each county directed to provide one drop-box for absentee/mail-in ballots in the November 3, 2020, general election.

    Oklahoma: On May 7, 2020, Governor Kevin Stitt (R) signed SB210 into law, reinstating the absentee ballot notarization requirement struck down by the state supreme court on May 4, 2020. The legislation also included provisions applicable only to the 2020 election cycle. SB210 permitted voters to submit copies of their identification in lieu of fulfilling the notarization requirement in the event of a state of emergency occurring within 45 days of an election. The legislation also specified that individuals experiencing symptoms indicative of COVID-19, and individuals classified as vulnerable to infection, could cast an absentee ballot under the 'physical incapacitation' eligibility criterion.

    Pennsylvania: In Allegheny, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, absentee ballot receipt deadline extended to June 9, 2020 (postmarked no later than June 2, 2020). Prepaid return postage provided for mail-in and absentee ballots in the November 3, 2020, general election.

    Rhode Island: Mail-in ballot applications sent automatically to all voters in the June 2, 2020, presidential preference primary. Witness/notary requirements for mail-in ballots suspended for the September 8, 2020, primary and November 3, 2020, general elections.

    South Carolina: Absentee/mail-in voting eligibility expanded, allowing all voters to cast ballots by mail in the June 9, 2020, primary and subsequent runoff elections. Judge J. Michelle Childs, of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, issued a preliminary injunction barring election officials from enforcing South Carolina's witness requirement for absentee ballots in the June 9, 2020, primary and subsequent runoff elections. Prepaid postage provided for all returned ballots in the November 3, 2020, general election.

    South Dakota: Mail-in ballot applications sent automatically to all voters in the June 2, 2020, election.

    Tennessee: Absentee/mail-in ballot eligibility in the November 3, 2020, general election extended to "individuals with a special vulnerability to COVID-19" and "caretakers for individuals with a special vulnerability to COVID-19."

    Utah: Gov. Gary Herbert (R) signed HB3005 into law, canceling in-person Election Day voting, in-person early voting, and in-person voter registration in the June 30, 2020, election. The legislation also extended the postmark deadline for mail-in ballots to June 30, 2020. Herbert subsequently signed legislation that made several changes to administration procedures for the November 3, 2020, general election (including the requirement that counties provide some form of in-person Election Day and early voting).

    Vermont: Mail-in ballot applications sent automatically to all voters in the August 11, 2020, election.

    Virginia: The Virginia Department of Elections announced that all voters would be permitted to cast absentee/mail-in ballots in municipal elections scheduled for May 2020. A federal court approved a partial settlement suspending the witness requirement for absentee ballots cast in the June 23, 2020, primary and November 3, 2020, general elections.

    West Virginia: Mail-in ballot applications sent automatically to all voters in the May 12, 2020, election. Absentee/mail-in ballot eligibility in the November 3, 2020, general election extended to all voters 'concerns about their health and safety because of COVID-19.' Secretary of State Mac Warner (R) also announced the implementation of an online absentee/mal-in ballot request portal for the general election.

    Wisconsin: Electronic voter registration deadline extended to March 30, 2020, for the April 7, 2020, election. Absentee/mail-in ballot request deadline was extended to 5:00 p.m. April 3, 2020.

    Source: <a href:"https://ballotpedia.org/Absentee/mail-in_voting#Temporary_modifications_to_absentee.2Fmail-in_voting_procedures_in_response_to_the_coronavirus_.28COVID-19.29_outbreak">Ballotpedia

    Remember: members of Dub Nation who reside in the Bay Area can <a href:"https://www.nba.com/warriors/news/polling-sites-20200904">drop off their ballots with the Warriors. The team’s Oakland Facility (1011 Broadway) and the home of the Santa Cruz Warriors, Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz (140 Front Street), will both serve as polling sites and ballot drop-off locations on Election Day, November 3, 2020. Thrive City, the vibrant outdoor district surrounding Chase Center (1 Warriors Way), will serve as a ballot drop-off location for San Francisco County voters from October 31 through November 3 as well.