Election 2020: How to Register to Vote, Get Mail-In Ballots and More

As former first lady Michelle Obama recently said, “It couldn’t be more important that everybody makes their voice be heard this time around.”

As usual, she’s right. The 2020 presidential election is fast approaching, which will see voters choose between four more years of Donald Trump (and his VP, Mike Pence) or opt for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. 

There are many, many issues to consider when casting your vote this year — issues that have only been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic and global protests — but here, we’re tackling the topic of voting and all that comes with and before it. 

If you don’t vote? Well, Mrs. Obama has an answer for that too: “You are giving away your power to someone else — someone who doesn’t see the world the same as you. You’re letting them make some really key decisions about the way you live,” she said. “The truth is, that’s exactly what some folks are hoping you’ll do. They’re hoping that you’ll stay home so that they can make these important decisions for you.”

Below, you’ll find a list of resources to help you along your 2020 election voting journey. It’s your civic duty, after all.

Make a Voting Plan

As voting registration deadlines roll out across the country (see the Upcoming Events and Important Dates section below to check find out the last day to register in your state), now is the perfect time to make sure you’re ready to vote come November (or before!). There are many questions to answer. Are you registered to vote? Find out how to double, triple and quadruple check your status, update any necessary information or sign up to vote for the first time. But the questions don’t stop there. Can you vote early? Where is your poling place? Will you vote by mail or in person? This voting guide is full of tips to help you decide when, where and how to cast your vote. 

Voting by Mail

Amid the still-ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to know your mail-in voting rights to ensure a fair and safe election.Those rights and rules differ from state to state, so it’s important to read up and prepare yourself for mail-in voting. And do it soon: Deadlines to request absentee ballots — which also vary by state — are quickly approaching.

Vote in Style

If you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy way to encourage others to vote, now’s your time. Companies are offering t-shirts, socks, jewelry and other merchandise to help you get out the vote in style. And yes: This selection of our favorite voting merchandise includes Michelle Obama’s ‘VOTE’ necklace worn during her Democratic National Convention speech. 

Upcoming Events and Important Dates

The big day is Nov. 3, but here is a look at what’s coming between now and then:

Voter Registration Deadline: Find out the last day to register online (or otherwise) in your state:

Oct. 7:Vice presidential debate at the University of Utah
Oct. 15:Second presidential debate at the University of Michigan
Oct. 22: Final presidential debate at Belmont University
Nov. 3: Election Day

Election Day is Nov. 3, 2020 — head over to Vote.org to register to vote and to get all the latest information.

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