Coronavirus-Required Social Distancing Is One More Reason to Plan on Voting by Mail

Voting by mail—also known as absentee voting—is a proven way to allow individuals to exercise their right to vote without having to go to the polls. This option is more important than ever in the face of the health and safety precautions necessary to combat coronavirus/COVID-19. A recent New York Times opinion article, “Voting by Mail Will Save the 2020 Election,” encourages policymakers and voters to take simple steps to reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the 2020 election cycle.

Almost half the country still has a primary election in the coming weeks; it is critical that individuals in these states vote. All states will mail a ballot to voters if certain conditions are met, and there is still sufficient time to request an absentee ballot in most states with upcoming primaries.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has compiled an excellent resource with information about absentee voting for each of the remaining 21 states with primaries. For each state, their analysis includes:

  • the date of the primary
  • the date the application must be received to get an absentee ballot
  • how to apply
  • who is eligible to vote by absentee ballot

The ACLU information, current as of March 17, reflects recent changes in certain primaries due to coronavirus.

Our Homes, Our Votes: 2020, NLIHC’s non-partisan candidate and voter engagement project, is closely monitoring the elections and encouraging affordable housing advocates and low-income renters to vote! Check out our website for more tips on voter engagement—and check back often to see more information about ways to engage voters and residents around absentee voting.