Voting by Mail

Many of you have questions on vote by mail and how to explain vote by mail to your communities. Last week, we released a simple three step process on how to vote by mail. Please review each step in the copied email below, and note that vote by mail rules and regulations vary by state.

Political Awareness and its partner When We All Vote want to share Voting by Mail facts and information

 In addition to the steps below, we acknowledge that there is a lot of misinformation circulating about vote by mail. We have prepared some messaging points for you, your members, and employees as you all continue to have conversations about voting by mail.

  • While there is a lot of interest in voting by mail this year, this year is not the first year of voting by mail.

  • Members of the military regularly vote by mail and have their votes counted.

  • Absentee voting is voting by mail.

  • States have specific voting by mail rules, which must be followed to a tee in order for a ballot to be counted. Some of those rules are in the email below, but they do vary by state and we encourage people to check their state and local guidance.

  • If your state does not automatically send a ballot, and if you are eligible to request a ballot, the ballot should be requested ASAP. If possible, drop the ballot off at a ballot box or an office, if the state/county allows. If not, please put plenty of postage on the envelope and drop off the ballot ASAP at the postal service, leaving a couple of weeks time for delivery. Your state will provide a date for which the ballot must be postmarked or received.

  • Some states are not allowed to process and count ballots prior to election day. Please check your secretary of state’s website to understand how your ballot will be processed.

  • Many states have ballot tracking systems available to those who choose to vote by mail. Please confirm with your state or local board of elections for tracking options.

We’ve attached a handy graphic about which states allow voting by mail, which is also on our Vote by Mail, Explained page. Additionally, we have some handy graphics here and here that you can use to explain voting by mail.


This week, we’re encouraging everyone to be an October Voter and make a plan to vote early — by mail or in person.

More Americans can vote early and by mail this year than ever before. Voting by mail is an easy and convenient way to make your voice heard in this election. If you plan to vote by mail, don’t wait to get started! Request your ballot NOW and follow the steps below ASAP.


In most states you need to request a ballot be sent to you.



Small mistakes can get your ballot rejected, so it’s important to carefully follow all instructions. Instructions vary by state, but keep an eye out for these things that can trip people up:

  • In order for your vote to be counted you must meet your state’s deadlines. Return your ballot ASAP!

  • Use the correct ink color specified in the instructions.

  • Don’t change your signature — use the one on your ID or voter registration form.

  • If required, place your completed ballot in the secrecy sleeve provided, and then place it inside the return envelope.

  • Include any documentation requested in the instructions.

  • Sign and seal your envelope.


You can return your ballot by mail, at a secure drop-off location, or at your polling place depending on your state.

20 states provide pre-paid postage, while other states require voters to pay the postage on their return ballot envelopes. A first-class stamp costs $0.55 and can be purchased at:

  • Post offices

  • Grocery stores

  • Banks

  • Pharmacies

  • Gas stations

  • Office supply stores

  • Online at

There’s a lot at stake in these elections — we can’t afford to mess around. Request your mail-in ballot now, fill it out carefully by following all instructions, and return it immediately.


Mr McDonough has been involved in Politics and the Entertainment Industry since 1988. He has worked inside Washington DC and with many political campaigns over the years. He hopes to make Political Awareness as force for non partisan real information and political awareness for all voters.

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