Voting-in person or mail?

So the middle ground is to allow people to request a vote-by-mail ballot, even if they’re not overseas, while others vote in person.

Yes, I think states vary considerable on who is eligible for “absentee” ballots. Some allow it on demand, and some require an excuse.

My state used to send absentee ballots to people who couldn’t vote in person. Now it sends a ballot to anyone who requests one, without any need to assert that you can’t vote in person. We call that voting by mail, although ballots aren’t sent to everyone, and many people still vote in person.

I’m pretty sure that’s how it is here. The only time I’ve voted by mail was 2020. Several years I voted absentee. I was never confident my absentee ballot was counted. I live in a relatively low population density area and I’ve never had to wait long to vote in person. Now that I’m not working I can go anytime and not wait until after work when everyone has to go.

Absolutely by mail. Arizona has an excellent early mail voting system.

  • There is a permanent early voting list - you make the request once, and you get early ballots automatically until you miss several elections in a row.
  • You get a text and/or email a few weeks before ballots are mailed.
  • You get a text/email when you ballot is mailed.
  • After you mail in your ballot, you get a test/email when it is received.
  • You get a text/email when your signature has been verified (I assume this is when they tell you if there is a problem with your signature that needs to be “cured”).
  • You get a text/email when your vote has been tabulated.

The main issue is that there is an option to drop off your “early ballot” at a polling place (any polling place, not just yours) on Election Day. Last election 260,000 ballots were dropped off. These ballots all need to go through the same processing as mail-in ballots (as opposed to actual in-person votes which are tabulated as they are cast) including signature verification. These ballots were the primary cause of delays in calling election results (along with very tight races) in recent elections.

BTW, this voting system was put into place quite a while ago by Republican governors and legislatures. They were justifiably very proud of the system until Agent Orange and his minions decided to shit all over it. Now of course many of the Rs responsible for building the system are joining the shitfest.

Most likely, I will vote early in person, which my area allows.

While I’m here, I’m going to say that earlier today, I witnessed a fender-bender that was entirely the middle-aged woman’s fault. She backed her van into a work van driven by a young man, and I gave them my information as a witness; she said she didn’t see the van at all, which wasn’t surprising because that van had a “TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT - 8 YEARS” (or something like that) wrap on the back window.

I can check on the state’s website and see if my ballot has been processed. (So can anyone else. Whether you’ve voted is public record.) It’s typically taken less than a week for my ballot to arrive and be accepted and processed.

In my state, the ballots that arrive at town hall after they have finalized the list that goes to polling places are voted at the polling places, on election day. The signature is verified by town hall, and the still-sealed ballot is delivered to the proper polling site. There, a poll worker opens the envelope, insures that the ballot is the right one for that envelope, and takes the ballot to the check-in desk to check that the voter hasn’t yet voted in person. Assuming that’s good, the check-in worker marks off the voter as having voted, (and notes which primary they voted in, if applicable) and the first poll worker takes the ballot to the box where ballots are actually cast, and enters it. Rinse, repeat, until the whole stack has been voted. (With breaks for when live voters show up, they get priority in line.)

I was once of those poll workers for the primary. I voted 22 times. (Plus casting my own ballot.)

Everything is counted and recorded at every stage. Other than the awkward fact that i could have looked at how each of those people had voted, the system is very secure and i am very confident that the ballots are correctly tallied, and that each voter gets no more than one vote.

Like I mentioned above, as an overseas voter, I submit my ballot via email. Couldn’t be simpler.


And as of this morning…

I don’t know how it works here. The last time I absentee voted was in 2008. I don’t think that was an option then. I also mailed the ballot from Iraq so I wasn’t too confident it the service.

Not really. Before Oregon went to all mail in voting, our county clerk was suggesting that everyone go for absentee voting.

The ballot comes in the mail to your registered address about 2 weeks before voting day. You have time to look into all the candidates and issues, and vote, or not vote, when you want to. The simplest thing in the world. Oregon has been all main in voting for many years.

That was 16 years ago. Your previous absentee ballot can legally take a driver’s test now. :laughing:

It’s worth pointing out there are at least 50 different answers to this question. Without specifying which state we’re each talking about we’re mostly handing out well-meaning misinformation.

The reason I asked is that someone upthread said that Trump was advocating for one while advocating against the other.

Broadly, the only significant difference is that you have to apply for an absentee ballot, while in all-vote-by-mail states, the ballots are automatically mailed to all registered voters. However, note that some states have permanent absentee voting lists, so people on that list only have to apply once. So for them, it’s not different than people in all-vote-by-mail states.

Trump is trying to simultaneously get people who will vote for him to do so by any means available to them, while trying to get them seriously upset that people who want to vote for somebody else might have various means available to them, and trying to cast doubt on the integrity of any vote that goes against him.

If he has to say utter nonsense to pull off that combination, he doesn’t care. He says utter nonsense all the time, and his voters don’t seem to care either. I’m not at all sure he can tell the difference between nonsense and fact.

It’s 100% about the military vote. Someone let him know the military can’t vote in person so he had to change what he was saying in order to not be against the troops. It doesn’t matter if a state treats it as essentially the same. He would love to do away with all of it but he can’t be seen as taking the vote away from the military.

I don’t think he cares about the perception. He does know that he needs those votes though. For reasons I cannot understand, he gets the majority of military vortes.

As an expat, I vote by mail in the state of my last residence. But only for President, representative, and Senator, so it is easy. They email me a ballot and two envelopes. I fill out the ballot, fold the envelopes, put the ballot inside envelope 1, which I sign on the outside and put that into envelope 2 which is already addressed and take it to the local PO and mail it. A week or so later, I will get an email that it was received.

When I vote in Canada, it is either from one MP or one provincial delegate or for a mayor and member of the town council. So at most two offices at any one time. There is also a school board election, but I have no kids in the system and no knowledge of the issues, so I pass on that. I recall when I was much younger, a bunch of old farts coming to a school bond election and cackling about how they were going to defeat that bond proposal. now that I’ve reached my dotage.

There are a lot more “support the troops” voters than there are troops. The military isn’t a monolithic voting bloc. It tends to break down closer to 50/50 than you would think. Some polls in 2020 gave Biden the edge. And of course those votes are spread over all 50 states. The perception of supporting the military is more important than their actual votes.

Anecdote: Back in 1986, as election season drew near, we had a morning muster on the pier in front of our submarine. One of our big cheeses (I can’t recall if it was the XO or the Chief of the Boat - the senior enlisted man in the crew, for those unfamiliar) mentioned that people would be getting absentee ballots soon, and this would be a good opportunity to reflect on the “fact” that Republicans were typically more generous to military folks than Democrats.

Made me kinda sick to hear him talking like that.