Absentee voting, the USPS, and COVID-19: How to ensure your vote counts

The USPS is warning states that the federal government’s defunding of its services could affect the 2020 election by delaying mail-in ballots. Many had hoped a wider mail-in option would help lower the risk of spreading COVID-19 at polling places. But this week, President Donald Trump has indicated he would reject a coronavirus stimulus package that includes emergency funding for the public service.

On the Reckon Interview Live Thursday evening, host John Hammontree spoke with Nancy Abudu, deputy legal director for voting rights at the Southern Poverty Law Center, about steps you can take to ensure your vote counts this year. You can watch that interview below.

After a week of conversations with experts about access to the ballot, the Reckon Interview has compiled this guide for making sure your vote counts in 2020.

Step One: Contact your members of Congress and ask them to fully fund the postal service.

Step Two: Make your plan now. (More on that below)

On this week’s episode of the Reckon Interview podcast, Hammontree spoke with ProPublica’s Jessica Huseman, who covers elections and voting. She offered these tips for making a plan to vote:

  • Make a plan & be systematic.
  • Make sure your registration is up to date. You can do that here: www.nass.org/can-i-vote
  • Make sure you know where your polling place is. “So you know, the election is not for three months. So three months gives you plenty of time, even in the current conditions, to really make sure that your registration is up to date, that you know where your polling location is, and that you know where to go to find out where your polling location is, and because given the environment, your polling location might change.” (You can also find your polling place at the link above.
  • Save a Word Document or note on your phone that includes all of this relevant information 
  • If voting by mail, ask your county what you need to do, and how to know whether your vote was counted. 

You can listen to the entire episode here.

 And go ahead and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Acast or wherever else you get your podcasts to stay informed about the South this election season.

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