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How to VOTE BY MAIL From Start to Finish

By October 16, 2020February 28th, 2024Voting

Hi Everyone! 👋 Best to hold onto constructive, totally tangible *things you can do* during this crazy time. As such, we’ve compiled a series on How to Do This starting with How to Vote by Mail. Consider this your all-encompassing mail-in guide, with which you can vote with confidence using the terms inherent to Your State, let your voice be heard — and ignore all the noise. Because, sometimes, we’ve just go to rise above the noise, figure out what we can do to help, and then… call it a day. Hope this guide is helpful! -X, Jordan

Step 1: Need to Register?

Learn your state’s deadline to vote. 

Register to vote (not too late in some states!). Some states may require a printer to register. If you don’t have one, text HELLO to 844-344-3556 for help registering. Or, see if a local library has blank voter application forms or sign up for the Nextdoor app to see if there’s someone local who can help you print. 

Step 2: Think You’re Registered?

Check your registration to make sure it’s still active! 

Request a Mail-in Ballot 

Sign-up for a mail-in ballot. 

Sign-up for a ballot tracker to know exactly when your ballot will arrive. 

Step 3: Filling Out That Ballot

✓ Read the instructions that come with your mail-in ballot — following each step exactly matters. 

✓ Use only blue or black ink.

✓ Use your legal name that’s registered with your state.

✓ It’s normal for signatures to change over time. But you have to use the exact signature that’s registered with your state (if you have a driver’s license, check that out for your signature). 

✓ Down ballot voting! Do it! Google is your friend. 

Step 4: Speed Matters, We Repeat: Do It Fast

✓ See if there’s a designated ballot drop off box near you. Just search “Ballot drop box” in your GPS or Google maps. Drop it off in a ballot drop off box, as soon as you can. 

✓ No ballot drop off box near you? Drop it off at your polling place, as soon as you cant. 

✓ No ballot drop off box and not able to drop it off at your polling place? No problem — take your ballot to a USPS or drop it off in a USPS box as soon as you can.

!!! We Repeat: If returning your ballot via USPS, *make sure it’s counted* by returning it by October 20th at the latest. 

Step 5: Now For the Fun Part — Get the Receipts

✓ Use a ballot tracker to know that your vote was received and c-o-u-n-t-e-d! If your state does not have a ballot tracker, call your local board of elections to see whether they received and counted your ballot. 

Step… Whenever!

Also Known As: How to Problem-Solve Whatever Comes Your Way

Lost your mail ballot? Call the Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE or Tweet them at @866ourvote. You may need to go to the polls (as soon as you can!) to request a provisional ballot. 

Learned your ballot was rejected? Call the Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE or Tweet them at @866ourvote. You may need to go to the polls (as soon as you can!) to request a provisional ballot. 

Decided you want to vote in person at your polling station instead? Go as soon as you can, and you must bring your blank mail ballot in with you to return so they can see you haven’t already voted.  

– Jordan, the daughter in the mother/daughter founding duo at ACFW and a big time GOTV and polling nut.