What do you think about this?
20 most searched questions on google about voting and the 2020 US Presidential election, answered - Bemorepanda
The suspension of the election that made the whole world turn its attention to the US continues on Friday, although Joe Biden is approaching in the key states the magic number of 270 votes in the electoral colleges, a figure that will ensure his presidency.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump held his first press conference after the election, accusing him of attempted fraud, without presenting any evidence. Some Republicans have distanced themselves from him, saying such positions undermine the democratic process. On the other hand, Biden called for calm and patience.
Being such an important event, voters also have many questions. So Bemorepanda collected these questions and found an answer to them.
I’ve requested my mail-in ballot. If I change my mind and want to vote in person, may I?
Yes, you should be able to cast a ballot at a polling place, though it may be what’s known as a “provisional” ballot.
But you should not try to vote in person if you’ve already voted by mail. Voting twice is a felony in most states. Read more on that here.
What if President Donald Trump refuses to accept the election results?
This is a valid question since the President’s laid groundwork to argue the system is rigged against him and that fraud cost him votes in 2016. Neither claim is true. But he really doesn’t have a choice about accepting the results. Under the Constitution, a new president takes the oath of office on January 20 at noon. If no one has met the criteria to win the election — either with a majority in the Electoral College or being picked by the House — the next person in the line of presidential succession takes the oath until the election can be brought to a close. The person in line after Trump and Vice President Mike Pence is Nancy Pelosi or whoever is House speaker on January 20. For Trump to refuse to leave, he’d essentially be seizing power in a coup and shredding the Constitution. That seems impossible.
How do local officials verify signatures on mail-in ballots?
The process is different in every state and is already the subject of lawsuits this year. Often, a representative from each political party will take part in the process. Some states notify people if their signatures are rejected and they can fix the issue, in a process called “curing” a ballot. In some states you can update your signature by updating your voter registration.
Here’s a full list compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. It’s an interesting read.
How will people who lost their homes in the recent wildfires receive their voting information and their mail-in ballots?
They should forward their mail to wherever they’re staying or have it held. Or vote in person.
What about adding drive-thru voting so people can feel safe remaining in their vehicles?
Officials are experimenting with drive-thru voting in Utah.
Can people volunteer to help the post office process ballots for delivery?
No. But if you’re looking to volunteer, there’s a real problem finding enough poll workers during the pandemic. Find out more here.
What kind of access do Russians have to the election system? Can they manipulate vote totals or voter lists?
Russians aren’t supposed to have any access. But that won’t stop them from trying. They did access sensitive information in two small Florida counties in 2019, according to reports, and likely targeted all 50 states. There’s no indication or evidence they were able or tried to change vote totals.
What if the signature on my mail-in ballot is rejected?
There are different rules in different states and, with so many more people expected to vote by mail this year, states are scrambling to update them. In many states there is a process by which the voter is notified the signatures don’t match and is given the ability to fix, or “cure,” the ballot. The National Conference of State Legislatures has a database of the rules for curing a ballot in the 19 states that allow it.
Will we know the winner on election night?
There’s a very good chance we will not. Why? With so many more voters expected to vote by mail, it’s entirely possible states will not have final or close to final results even within days of the end of voting. Some states will count ballots they receive weeks after Election Day. And if margins are as close in some battlegrounds as they were in 2016, that means it could take a long time to get all the absentee and provisional votes counted. The Electoral College isn’t required to meet until the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December, so states have time to finalize their results.
Why do so few people vote in US elections?
I’m not sure I can explain it. But I can confirm that lots of Americans who can vote don’t. The last presidential election to reach more than 60% turnout was in 1968. There is some evidence that 2020 will be a big year for turnout; the 2018 midterms saw turnout on par with recent presidential elections. So voters are clearly motivated by President Donald Trump’s presidency.
By what date do I need to register to vote?
Each state has its own rules. You can check yours here. All states allow registration into October, but it may be early or mid-October. Twenty-one states allow a voter to register either after early voting has begun or on Election Day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
I received my North Carolina ballot and at the end it says I have to have a witness sign. Is this true? Do you have to have a witness in all states or just in North Carolina?
Every state is different. And the rules have been scrambled as states try to make mail-in voting easier during the pandemic. Check out our voter guide for information on all states.
Regarding North Carolina specifically, the state does require that a witness sign a certification included with your ballot. Here’s a step-by-step process published by the state.
I received a text indicating that you could vote online with a link to sign up. Didn't click the link as I've not heard anything about online voting. Any insight on this issue?
Danger! There is no large-scale online voting option in US presidential elections. You might register to vote online. You might request an absentee ballot online. You might check your registration online. You might check the status of your mail-in ballot online. But you do not vote online in the US. What you received is very likely a phishing scam.
All that said, some states have experimented with types of online voting, particularly for service members overseas. That includes West Virginia, which has an online voting app it used in 2018 and for its primary in 2020.
What is the point in voting with Donald Trump’s declaration to dispute/reject the election results?
The Constitution makes clear the next presidential term of office begins January 20 at noon. The person who is sworn in then will either be the winner of the election or a placeholder in the line of presidential succession. It doesn’t really matter, from that perspective, whether Trump will dispute or reject the results. The system is built so that he can’t just ignore the results.
I received a ballot with just an option for president. Why were the other positions not listed?
This seems completely wrong. Every citizen living in a US state votes for Congress at the same time as they vote for president. There should, at least, be an option to vote for your congressperson. If you live in Washington, DC, or a territory like Puerto Rico, you should be voting for your delegate. You may also be voting for your senator and local officials. This is a good time to call your local election officials.
Is it OK to just vote for a president only and not vote for anything else on the ballot? Will my vote still count if I currently vote for my presidential choice?
Yes, it should. There’s no requirement to vote at all and no requirement to vote for everything on the ballot. But why not? When you vote, you have a say in how your government is working. And some elections — in particular local elections — might have just as much or more of a bearing on your daily life as your vote for the White House.
I registered as independent when I was 18. I am now 32, and have never voted. How do I know where to vote? Will I be able to vote Democrat? How do I change my party?
Regardless of whether you’re registered with a party, you can vote for whoever you want — Republican, Democrat or something else — on Election Day. But you should confirm your voter registration, because some states purge voters who have not voted in a long time. Most states allow you to do this online at the state secretary of state or election office. That’s also where you’re likely to find your polling place. Check your state at CNN’s voting guide.
What happens if my voting location closes due to a Covid surge?
This is a great question. If this is a concern, consider voting early in-person or by mail. Nearly every state has some kind of accommodation for people concerned about the pandemic. Given the importance of the election and the fact that it can’t, by law, be moved, polling places are unlikely to close completely. But lines could be longer. Here’s how to vote safely in-person.
If I checked Democrat, at the beginning of the ballot, is it ok that I then checked individual boxes for each candidate, some state ones being Republican?
Yes. There are six US states that include a “straight ticket voting” feature where you can simply select a party and your ballot is counted for that party in all races. This is an option that has declined over time, but six US states — Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and South Carolina — still offer it in some way.
But even where a “straight ticket” is offered, you should still be able to select a different party’s candidate in an individual race and “split” your ticket.
When can the states begin to count absentee & mail-in ballots?
The rules are different in every state. Pennsylvania is notable as a key battleground state that waits until 7 a.m. on Election Day to begin processing mail-in ballots. Here’s a helpful map.
Will CNN project states on election night like they do every year? Will there be too many mail-in ballots cast that the number of in-person votes cast just won’t be enough to project a winner?
CNN will project the winner of states. But it might not be like other years. There is a decision desk that takes incoming vote results, exit polls and other factors into account before making a projection. If there isn’t enough data to project a winner in a state, we won’t. The emphasis is on getting this right. It could be a very long night and the counting of ballots will likely stretch for days in many states. Here’s more on how CNN makes projections.
If the Electoral College’s vote is the primary determination of who becomes president, what is the purpose of the popular vote?
There is no purpose of the popular vote. News organizations and the federal government record it, but it’s meaningless in terms of determining the president. The popular vote in an individual state, however, is very important. A candidate may win a state by a handful of votes, but they still get all of that state’s electoral votes. (Nebraska and Maine are exceptions since they award some of their votes to the statewide winner and some proportionally.) Here’s a refresher on the Electoral College.
Can I send my mail-in ballot by Priority Mail, and can I put the ballots of my other family members in the same Priority envelope?
Yes, the Post Office will let you use Priority Mail. But putting multiple ballots in one envelope may be against the rules and is definitely risky. Many states require two envelopes — a mailing envelope and a secrecy sleeve. This inner envelope can hold the ballot and requires a voter’s signature. Review your state’s rules.
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