Whether it's a screen, a pen, or a lever, voting in a number of states requires touching a number of communal surfaces that can easily spread the coronavirus. As we work to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus, states must expand access to absentee voting options that allow voters to safely vote at home.
Vote at home ensures that Americans can stay safe without sacrificing their right to vote.
Coronavirus has already shown to dampen voter turnout. In Illinois, a state without widespread absentee ballot access, voter turnout was down 20%, compared to Washington state, which uses an all-mail election system, and saw turnout increase by 25%.
Vote at home is already one of the most secure ways to cast a vote; the system creates an easily traceable paper trail to track ballots. With secure voter verification methods, states with vote by mail election systems are among the most secure places to vote in the nation.
Poll workers and election volunteers are overwhelmingly older Americans who are most vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus. By expanding access to vote at home, states can reduce the number of poll workers needed while still maintaining election security.
With millions of Americans living under stay at home orders, voting at home ensures that everyone is able to maintain social distance and have their voices heard. All Americans should be able to vote without fear of getting sick.
To ensure a seamless and safe election day, states need to begin preparing now: ensuring everyone can access an absentee ballot without an excuse, increasing capacity to mail voters their ballots, and obtaining the machinery to ensure votes counts are accurate and accountable.
Making voting secure and simple expands the electorate and ensures that all Americans have the opportunity to have their voices heard on election day. Vote at home is secure and safe.
5 states use full vote by mail election systems
5 states have no excuse, permanent mail ballot options
24 states have no excuse required mail ballot options
The Coronavirus impact on our economy, institutions, and way of life has been significant and will likely reverberate for years. Voter participation is a bedrock of are presentative government, but voters should not be forced to assume a health risk to cast their ballots.