COVID-19 has affected every aspect of the lives of the AANHPI community and countless others. As we get closer to the General Elections on November 3rd, the continued impact of the pandemic has demanded changes to voting protocols. To reflect these changes, we have recently updated our state-specific election information pages to make sure that everyone can vote safely during the pandemic. Here are the important updates made to our state-specific pages and an overview of the impact of COVID-19 on this year’s elections.
Changes to State-Specific Election Information Pages
COVID-19 Updates regarding your state’s elections are now at the top of every state-specific election information page. You will find up-to-date information on how COVID-19 is affecting your state (e.g. postponed elections or changes made to vote-by-mail systems). You will also find an easy-to-read Election Overview table with important election dates and deadlines (i.e. when to apply for absentee ballots, when to register to vote, and more). Information regarding language access, absentee voting, mail-in ballots, and Election Day information follows below the Election Overview section.
Impact of COVID-19 on Elections
COVID-19 is greatly changing the way most Americans will vote in 2020. In general, more states are allowing for increased absentee voting or vote-by-mail, whereas some do not have any vote-by-mail systems. Many states have also decided to postpone elections on all levels (i.e. municipal, state, and primaries). For example, New York had postponed their Democratic primary until June 23 and Georgia presidential primary was postponed till June 9. Because each state has distinct voting protocols, it is crucial to stay up-to-date with exactly how your state has decided to hold elections through the rest of the year.
Locally, COVID-19 has also affected the availability of polling locations throughout the US, meaning the very way we vote may also change. In Allegheny, Pennsylvania, only 211 of 1323 polling places remained open for the June 2nd primary. With such drastic changes, voters must be informed about possible mail-by-vote protocols in their state, or, at the very least, confirm their polling locations before going out to the polls.
In some/many cases, election changes have only been communicated in accessible languages to limited English proficient voters covered by Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act. Thus, many limited English proficient communities may be unaware of these changes. If you are able to communicate these changes to a limited English proficient family member, friend, or community member, you will directly support voters in our community.
While many of us may feel there is so much going on in the world, this year is still a crucial election year. Please use and share our state-specific election information pages as a resource to ensure that our voices will be heard while we stay safe.
Learn more about your state → https://www.apiavote.org/election-information-your-state