Why Vote By Mail?
“Research shows that communities of color, young people, and low-income Americans are disproportionately burdened by registration barriers, inflexible voting hours, and polling place closures, making it more difficult for these groups to vote. Participation gaps persist along racial, educational, and income-level differences.”
Personal responsibility to help your community
If you are willing and you’re able, please vote by mail so that others can vote in person. With over 4 million New Jersey voters projected to vote in the November General Election, we must take it upon ourselves to help our community handle the flow of both mail-in ballots and in-person voting. Coronavirus has disproportionately hit Black and Latinx communities. The Black community has also been historically been targeted and prevented from voting so assuring that the Black community can vote safely and not be subjected to voter disenfranchisement or exposed to the community spread of coronavirus is critical.
In addition, coronavirus causes severe long-term ailments with high mortality rates in seniors. Most of our poll workers are seniors. We need to do our part and vote from home if we can so that we can reduce the number of in-person voting. We should also encourage younger people under 60 to sign up as poll workers. The pay is not great ($200 per day) but as we have seen in our older poll workers, they don’t do it for the pay. Poll workers do it to help their community and to support democracy. Find out more about becoming a Poll Worker here.
We acknowledge that there are voters who do not have the confidence that their vote will count, that their mail-in ballot will not be received on time, or will be disproportionately rejected due to their ZIP code. These voters may wish to vote in person on Election Day. If you can vote early using your mail-in ballot and have the ability to either drop it off at a ballot drop box or at your county Board of Elections before Election Day, please do so. Do not wait. This will help election officials process them upon receipt and allows them to plan the volume of incoming ballots.
Benefits of Vote By Mail
- Convenient: Voters can vote by simply dropping if off in their mailbox or at a secure ballot drop box. Find your nearest one here.
- Know Your Ballot: Ballots will start sending out on October 5. That’s 29 days to discover all the candidates and research about Ballot Questions and to vote when you’re ready.
- Secure: Because it’s a paper ballot, there’s a record of the county receiving your vote. You can track your ballot online here.
- Cheap: UPDATE 8/14/20: Mail-in ballots will have prepaid postage just like the Primary Election (no cost to voters.)
- Contactless: Helps with shelter-in-place orders to stop the spread of coronavirus
Inclusivity means providing Options
Just as polling places can be a barrier to voting for people without means of transportation, with work hour and shift constraints, with limitations to childcare, and with mobility issues, so can Vote By Mail. Restricting voting in the face of a global pandemic to just voting by mail can be a barrier to voting for citizens whose first language is not English, without an address, with inconsistent mail delivery, with sight issues, with writing issues, or those who can’t afford or know how to obtain a stamp. To be as inclusive in order to provide access and reach to as many voting age citizens as possible, Vote By Mail should be one of several options for voting including secure ballot drop boxes, extended voting days, and polling places mitigated for physical distancing.