We have all experienced heartaches and hardships since the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed the first case of the Coronavirus on January 15, 2020 in the state of Washington.
Since that day, our lives have changed forever. Our families, jobs, and faith have been challenged, but thankfully, our country seems to be overcoming the obstacles and pulling together. We have a November 3rd election day fast approaching and whether you are a teenager eligible to vote or an elderly citizen, we must all find a way to cast our ballot. Your vote does matter!
We have seen statewide elections with several million votes cast decided by a handful of votes. At the national level, we recall the contentious hanging chad 2000 Presidential election between George W Bush and Al Gore. That election was decided by a razor-thin margin with Bush receiving 271 electoral college votes and 266 for Gore.
Our civic responsibility is to vote and there aren’t any good reasons not to express your right to vote. Senior citizens have always done a nice job of turning out to vote, but this year's coronavirus and the riots and protests have caused some to express reservations about voting. Many have lost their lives for us to have the freedom to vote, so we owe it to them regardless of Republican, Democrat or Independent. Abraham Lincoln's words ring true with what we are experiencing across America when he said, “Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on the blisters.” In other words, if you don't vote, you will have to live with the pain.
This year, many states have made voting exceptions and voting rules to make it easier to vote. You can vote in person at your precinct on November 3rd, you can vote absentee and some states even allow voting by mail upon request and to vote in an early voting period. The best thing for you to do is access your state's election officials website to determine what is allowed. The USA.gov link will help you find your local election office for information concerning polling locations, in-person registration and other local questions.
For those considering voting outside the polling place for at home options:
Absentee voting- all states allow for absentee voting, but the rules vary. In two-thirds of the states, citizens can vote absentee without offering up any excuse although one-third of the states require an excuse according to NCSL. In some states, you may cast your ballot in person before election day, but you must request the absentee ballot from your state and as we mentioned earlier, you may have to have an excuse.
All-Mail Voting- in a few states, a ballot is automatically sent to all eligible voters even without a request or application.
Early Voting In-Person- this feature is allowed in four-fifths of the states. These states allow voters to cast their ballot in person during the designated time before election day. Due to the coronavirus, the rules and voting dates may change. Early voting rules vary from state to state, but this chart lists the time frames for those states that allow for early voting.
American Senior Alliance challenges you to get out and vote to make a difference. The late John Lewis said, “The vote is precious. It's almost sacred, so go out and vote like you never voted before.” We agree, your vote is precious and get to the ballot box and vote!