So, we’re getting very, very close to Election Day 2020 (it’s on Nov. 3!), and it is imperative that as many people as possible fill out their ballots and vote. Our political system is ridiculously flawed in many ways, but for right now, it’s also the only political system that we have. It’s so important to remain involved and do your part to create the type of country you want to live in — but it takes some preparation.

How do I request a mail-in ballot?

This year’s election is atypical for so many reasons, but a big one is the fact that we’re still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, many people are choosing to vote by mail rather than risk their safety (or others’) by voting in person. For many, voting by mail is both easy and convenient (even when there’s not a pandemic to worry about).

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Once again, you’ll want to check with your specific state’s board of elections for details on requesting a mail-in or absentee ballot. Make sure you do this prior to your state’s deadline, too! Note that in some states (though not all), you will need to cover postage costs for your ballot, so you may want to be sure to have stamps on-hand (also, you get to support the USPS! Yay!).

Your mail-in ballot will need to be postmarked — or dropped off at a dropbox or election office — by Election Day (Nov. 3). That being said, your best bet is to mail your ballot in as soon as possible. That way, you won’t forget and won’t have to worry about mail delays causing an issue.

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If you are going to vote in person, be sure to wear a mask (you may need to remove it to help the polling place workers confirm your identity), maintain at least 6 feet of distance between your fellow voters, and — please — be patient with the people working the polls.

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