Vote by Mail
A safe and secure way to boost voter participation
Vote by Mail, Explained
Vote by Mail, also known as absentee voting, is an increasingly popular voting method. It gives voters an alternative to going in person to a polling place on Election Day.
Here’s how it works:
- Voters get a paper ballot sent to their mailbox
- They fill out their paper ballot, sign and seal the envelope
- They return their ballot by mail or drop it off at a secure dropbox location
It’s really that simple! Vote by Mail gives voters the option to vote securely and on their own schedules – without the stress of finding childcare or taking time off work.
RepresentUs supports a comprehensive, universal Vote by Mail system where every registered voter is automatically mailed a ballot, while in-person polling places remain open.
The Benefits of Vote by Mail
Convenience, can lead to higher turnout
Reduces risk and fraud by providing a paper trail
Freedom to vote in the privacy of your home
More time to consider candidates and issues
Reduces waiting time at polling places
We’re bringing Vote by Mail to cities and states all across America.
Will you join the movement?
What states already use Vote by Mail?
Voting by mail has been a necessary aspect of our voting system since the era of the Civil War. Today, every state uses some form of Vote by Mail, most commonly in the form of absentee ballots. Who can access absentee or mail ballots, and for what reason, varies by state; sometimes an excuse is required, like being out of town or unable to access a polling place for health reasons.
Eight states (including Colorado, Utah, Vermont) and D.C. have a universal Vote by Mail system where voters have ballots automatically delivered to their home. Seven states, including Arizona, Illinois, and New Jersey, offer voters the option to join a permanent absentee voter list and receive ballots automatically going forward. Twenty states allow voters to request an absentee ballot with no excuse required. [source]
The presidential election of 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic forced all states to rely more on their vote by mail infrastructure than ever before, with 43% of voters casting a ballot by mail.
Is Vote by Mail really that secure?
Yes! In fact, states with universal vote by mail tend to have more secure systems than those that don’t. Here’s why:
- Every ballot is a paper-verified ballot, meaning that all votes can be audited and recounted if necessary
- Only registered voters are mailed a ballot
- Signatures are cross-referenced with voter registrations to ensure accuracy
- Ballots with missing or invalid signatures are rejected
- Officials regularly conduct risk-limiting audits to ensure integrity, security, and an accurate count
Do you support ballot drop boxes? Are they secure?
We support expanded drop box use. Drop boxes are another secure and convenient way for voters to cast their ballots.
Drop boxes are physically secure, are often equipped with video surveillance and many jurisdictions have a chain of custody procedure in place to make sure no ballots are tampered with and all are accounted for.
Vote by Mail sounds great! Why isn’t it just implemented nationally for everyone?
As we’ve seen time and time again across many different issues, it can be difficult to get Congress to act on good ideas for the entire country. It’s why RepresentUs pursues a strategy of working city by city, state by state to enact reforms and build momentum for change to happen at the national level.
Our Vote by Mail Campaigns
Jun 8 2022
Thanks to a new bill passed by state lawmakers, every eligible Vermont voter will receive a mail-in ballot for all general elections starting in 2022.
Jun 8 2022
In 2022, RepresentUs and a coalition of partners worked with the Let R.I. Vote campaign on a package of bills that make it easier for Rhode Island voters to access the ballot in a number of ways.
Jul 16 2021
In 2021, Maine voters pushed politicians to create a permanent absentee voter list for disabled voters and folks over the age of 65.
Mar 30 2021
In 2021, New Jersey passed legislation to institute a permanent early voting system, including ballot drop boxes.
Nov 1 2019
The Pennsylvania General Assembly passed SB421 in 2019 which enables voting at home.
If you are interested in Vote by Mail, now is the time to get involved. Its popularity is surging and after a string of high profile wins, momentum is on our side.
Vote by Mail News & Commentary
REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR SIGNS UNIVERSAL VOTE-BY-MAIL BILL INTO LAW
Jun 7 2021
RepresentUs, VPIRG, partners secure major victory in VermontRead More
When will we get election results for the 2020 presidential race?
Oct 16 2020
Americans are used to getting election results late on election night, when networks usually make a call based on partial results from in-person voting. Keyword being partial.Read More
Top 5 mail voting mistakes (and how to avoid them)
Oct 12 2020
If you're planning to cast your ballot by mail this year rather than voting in person, these are the most common mistakes to avoid so you can ensure your vote is counted.Read More