Voting seems like a relatively straightforward ritual that remains largely the same year after year. That is, until 2020.
Between the coronavirus pandemic, massive delays at the post office, ongoing concerns about voting fraud, and a series of new voting laws in many states, this November’s election will no doubt be unlike any the country has had in the past.
It could play out in a couple different ways. If the upcoming election looks anything like what the country saw with the primaries earlier this year, voters might wait weeks to receive an absentee ballot and be at high risk of having their vote thrown out. States rejected tens of thousands of ballots they received by mail earlier this year over confusion about instructions on how to fill them out properly and delays with the postal service.
But there’s also an opportunity for the upcoming election to go much more smoothly. Many states have expanded the ability for people to vote by mail, thrown out voter ID requirements, and even started offering outdoor polling sites to help people stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
No two states are exactly alike when it comes to the rules around voting, though, so it’s important to read up on your local voting laws and create a plan to cast your vote.
Using a combination of sources including the National Conference of State Legislatures, Ballotpedia, RepresentUs, and Vote.org, Stacker compiled a list of voting laws and policies for every state and Washington D.C.
These laws include voter identification laws: Some states require identification (either with a photo or without), some don’t, and some make voters show proof of identification at a later date for their vote to count (also known as “strict” laws). The list also includes each state’s mail-in voting status, the state’s policies on early voting and voting with a felony conviction, as well as the deadlines for registering to vote.
This list is up to date as of Sept. 18, 2020, but due to the nature of elections and the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is always a good idea to check your state’s specific voting laws before making a plan for registering and going to vote. Make sure to note any requirements about showing an ID, as well. Click through to see how voting laws vary by state.
Get Election 2020 & Politics updates in your inbox!
Keep up on the latest in national and local politics as Election 2020 comes into focus.