With the circumstance of COVID-19, we observed a huge spike in mail-in voting methods for the 2020 presidential election. The popularity of mail-in voting had already gained some steam in 2018, however. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2018 elections saw an increase in mail-in ballots, coming out to 23.1% of the votes cast. With an already rising number of individuals utilizing the mail-in voting method, that seemed to be a natural course of action for the 2020 election. Throughout his campaign President Trump expressed disdain for this method, claiming that it increases the potential for voter fraud. However, there have only been a small number of isolated incidents of voter fraud in the past, and with improved technology states can implement ballot tracking and drop boxes for ballots. These eliminate the need for passing ballots through a third party, Trump’s main concern with the mail-in method. Furthermore, former Arizona election official, Tammy Patrick, told the National Public Radio in 2018 that government officials should be more concerned with expanding voter accessibility than going off of a few isolated incidents of fraud. Patrick made this claim before the COVID-19 pandemic, which stresses the importance of politicians being open to more widespread mail-in voting in 2020. Though vote by mail has already been more widely used for this election than ever before, there are still in-person voting options. Learn how you can safely and securely cast a mail-in ballot or vote in person this year by clicking the "VOTE" button found either above or to the right.
Primary and caucus voting was a more immediate problem for state governments as they occurred in the spring months, just as COVID-19 hit the U.S. the hardest. Several states combatted this by postponing their primary elections, including my own state, New Jersey. You can check to see the status of your state’s primary at the following link: 2020 Presidential Primary Election Calendar. Other states, however, proceeded with their primaries as planned. These states include Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Nebraska, and Oregon, which held their primaries in March, April, and May amid the pandemic. The remaining states that have already had their primaries used the online or mail-in ballot method to count their votes.