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The Sikh Coalition News
August 7, 2020
  • [GOTV] State Deadlines for Voting by Mail

    August 7, 2020 (New York, NY) -- With less than 90 days to go until the U.S. election on November 3, 2020, the Sikh Coalition continues to provide resources to encourage voting and civic engagement by all Sikh Americans.

    Today, we have put together a graphic below outlining critical information regarding state-by-state approaches to voting by mail. Given ongoing health and safety concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to ensure that you are able to vote by mail if you wish to do so. In order to request a mail-in ballot, you must first be registered to vote. To register to vote, or check your voter registration status, click here.

    This map shows whether or not each state is allowing voting by mail (and under which conditions, if applicable) and the date by which residents need to request their mail-in ballots.
    • Some states, in gold, are automatically providing all voters with a mail-in ballot. There is no deadline to request a ballot if you live in these states.
    • Most states, in teal, have a deadline by which you need to request your mail-in ballot. (Note that there is no particular deadline for making these requests in North Dakota, New Hampshire, or Mississippi.)
    • Some states require you to submit an ‘excuse’ for mail-in voting--a reason that you won’t be able to physically go to the polls. The states in blue accept concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic as a valid excuse.
    • Some states, in purple, require you to submit an excuse for mail in voting but do not currently allow concerns about COVID-19 to qualify. This means that you will have to physically go to the polls in order to cast your vote.
    • A few states, in grey, still have unclear rules about mail-in voting. Right now, this applies to Indiana, where pending litigation will determine whether or not COVID concerns are an acceptable excuse for getting a mail-in ballot.

    Because these rules--especially rules regarding excuses--may change over time due to new state laws, directives by governors, and ongoing lawsuits, please refer to the new page on our website for the most up-to-date version of this map!

    As a reminder, you can use our free voter registration tool to find out how to request a mail-in ballot in your state and learn when ballots are due back. Regardless of deadlines, it is important to note that the U.S. Postal Service has advised that all ballots be mailed in October, well in advance of the November 3 election.

    Voting by mail is legal, safe, and widely practiced in the United States. It is the primary means of voting in states like Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Utah, and Hawaii. Voting by mail will allow people to participate in our democracy this November without having to fear for their health. There is no evidence that increased voting by mail will lead to fraud; voter fraud is, in general, a very rare phenomenon, and it is dangerous to use false claims or assumptions about fraud to attempt to delegitimize past or future election results.

    In the coming weeks, the Sikh Coalition will continue to provide information pertaining to voting and civic engagement. In the meantime, we continue to recruit sevadaars to help with voter registration efforts across the country; in just one month, we already have more than 40 volunteers across 16 states! Please keep checking our website for new information, and reach out to gotv@sikhcoalition.org if you are willing to join us and ensure that Sikh community members in your sangat turn out to vote on November 3. We will continue adjusting our organizing plans in both virtual and physical spaces in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and other public health officials.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

    Note: The Sikh Coalition is a non-partisan, non-profit organization. All Get Out The Vote (GOTV) work is being done in support of broader Sikh American civic engagement, and not for the benefit of any candidate, elected official, or political party.
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