Your Vote Matters

Mohamed Eltayeb

The clock is ticking, with less than 30 days to the 2020 presidential election, your vote matters more than ever. 

This year has been everything but normal, and so has this year’s US election. It can be confusing understanding the voting process with headlines of voter fraud and the fact that we are voting in a pandemic. Yet, here are simple steps to better understand the voting process, so you can answer the questions of your friends and family. 

Make sure you are registered to vote.

In this unprecedented election, state representatives and voting rights groups advise voters to vote ahead. To make sure you’re registered to vote, check out your state’s election website , so you learn more about the rules in your state and, more importantly, your voting status.

Voting by mail?

If you plan on voting by mail, request your ballot as soon as possible. If you are registered to vote in California, Colorado, DC, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Vermont or Washington your ballot will automatically be mailed to you. In the 33 other states, you can request an absentee ballot either no-questions-asked or with coronavirus as your reason. In 8 states, (Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, you will need to provide an excuse other than coronavirus to receive your absentee ballot. (

See below for information about how to vote by mail in each state.

Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | District of Columbia | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South CarolinaSouth Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming | American Samoa | Guam | Northern Mariana Islands | Puerto Rico | U.S. Virgin Islands (US NEWS)

Voting in person?

If you can plan on voting in person, make sure you know the location of your polling station. Due to the coronavirus, staff shortages may occur; thus, stations may vary.

Early voting?

Most states have early voting. This lets registered voters vote on specified dates before Election Day. This early voting chart lists the time frames for states that offer early voting. 

Drop off your mail-in ballot at a ballot drop box

Due to concerns regarding the USPS mail delivery, you have the option to drop off your ballot at a ballot drop box, election office or a polling location. Find your closest local election office here.

Tracking your ballot

According to CNN, 45 states and the District of Columbia allow you to track your ballot. Here’s a list of each state’s deadline for requesting a mail-in ballot, as well as which states offer ballot tracking and where to sign up. 

Alabama: October 29 (Track your ballot here)

Alaska: October 24 (Track your ballot here)

Arizona: October 23 (Track your ballot here)

Arkansas: November 2 (Track your ballot here)

California: No request needed — all registered voters will be mailed ballots (Track your ballot here)

Colorado: No request needed — all registered voters will be mailed ballots (Track your ballot here)

Connecticut: November 2 (No ballot tracking available)

Delaware: October 30 (Track your ballot here)

District of Columbia: No request needed — ballots are automatically mailed to active voters (Track your ballot here)

Florida: November 3 (Track your ballot here)

Georgia: October 30 (Track your ballot here)

Hawaii: No request needed — ballots automatically sent to all voters (Track your ballot here)

Idaho: November 3 (Track your ballot here)

Illinois: November 2 (No ballot tracking available)

Indiana: October 22 (Track your ballot here

Iowa: October 24 (Track your ballot here)

Kansas: October 27 (Track your ballot here)

Kentucky: October 9 (Track your ballot here)

Louisiana: (Track your ballot here)

Maine: October 29 (Track your ballot here)

Maryland: October 20 (Track your ballot here)

Massachusetts: October 28 (Track your ballot here)

Michigan: October 30 (Track your ballot here)

Minnesota: November 2 (Track your ballot here)

Mississippi: October 31 (No ballot tracking available)

Missouri: October 21 (No ballot tracking available)

Montana: November 2 (Track your ballot here)

Nebraska: October 23 (Track your ballot here)

Nevada: No request needed — ballots are automatically sent to active voters (Track your ballot here)

New Hampshire: November 2 (Track your ballot here)

New Jersey: No request needed — ballots are automatically mailed to all active voters who register by October 5 (Track your ballot here)

New Mexico: October 20 (Track your ballot here)

New York: October 27 (Track your ballot here)

North Carolina: October 27 (Track your ballot here)

North Dakota: November 2 (Track your ballot here)

Ohio: October 31 (Track your ballot here)

Oklahoma: October 27 (Track your ballot here)

Oregon: No request needed — ballots automatically sent to all voters (Track your ballot here)

Pennsylvania: October 27 (Track your ballot here)

Rhode Island: October 13 (Track your ballot here)

South Carolina: October 30 (Track your ballot here)

South Dakota: November 2 (Track your ballot here)

Tennessee: October 27 (Track your ballot here)

Texas: October 23 (No ballot tracking available)

Utah: No request needed — ballots automatically sent to all voters (Track your ballot here)

Vermont: No request needed — ballots automatically sent to all voters (Track your ballot here)

Virginia: October 23 (Track your ballot here)

Washington: No request needed — ballots automatically sent to all voters (Track your ballot here)

West Virginia: October 28 (Track your ballot here)

Wisconsin: October 29 (Track your ballot here)

Wyoming: November 2 (Track your ballot here)


For more information on how to vote this year, check out

To contact Mohamed Eltayeb. you can reach out to him via e-mail ( or Twitter!

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