Fight Voter Suppression - Expand Access to Vote at Home by Mail Now
Voting at Home by Mail is easy. It increases voter participation, saves money, promotes equity, and has multiple security features. Vote by Mail ballots are mailed out early, returned in person or by mail, and can be tracked in real time.
In states that mailed ballots to every voter in 2020, voter turnout increased an average of 5.6%, and as much as 8% in regions with historically low vote by mail usage. Expanding voting at home counters many of the worst forms of voter suppression, eliminating the bottlenecking effects of not enough voting machines, long lines, and on-site intimidation by hostile parties or partisan “election observers.”
In an era where the Voting Rights Act has been gutted of essential protections, and shortages of voting sites are proportionally worse in underrepresented neighborhoods, Vote by Mail procedures are crucial for improving voter access.
Increased voter participation is one of the greatest advantages of Vote at Home by Mail systems. To be able to vote safely and easily from one’s own home, with multiple options for the secure return of one’s ballot, increases the likelihood of voting significantly. In 2020, 46% of voters used Vote by Mail, resulting in the highest voter turnout in 120 years.
Moreover, a recent study by the Public Policy Institute of California showed that Vote by Mail policies do not favor one party over another. Another study, by Stanford University’s Institute for Economic Policy Research, found that in some locales Republicans benefited more than Democrats. Meanwhile, the nonpartisan nonprofit Deliver My Vote Education Fund found that voters of color used Vote at Home extensively in 2020, with a 42%-47% increase in Black voters using Vote at Home, and a 56% increase in Asian American / Pacific Islander voters.
States using Vote at Home have reported significant cost savings. Much of these savings comes from reducing the need to recruit, hire, and train poll workers, and to operate polling sites. For instance, Colorado reported a cost decrease of 40% in 2020, Oregon reported savings of a third to a half, and Montana reported savings of $2 million per election.
Voters and employers also experience cost savings from using Vote by Mail. Voting lines in 2012 were responsible for losses in productivity and wages of $544 million, falling disproportionately on voters of color. Black voters on average had to wait in line twice as long as white voters, which discourages people from voting in the future.
Ensuring access to voting among disenfranchised voters must remain a high priority for policymakers. To accomplish this goal requires both a robust Vote by Mail system, and the expansion of in-person polling places in underserved communities. This includes increasing access for voters with physical and developmental disabilities, lower income voters, voters with unstable housing, young voters, voters of color, and voters without regular mail delivery.
Meanwhile, important security safeguards are in place to prevent misuse of Vote at Home ballots. A study by Towson University found that Vote by Mail “reduces the likelihood of adversarial interference,” partially due to the greater privacy experienced at home. Sending out ballots by mail helps to keep voter rolls updated, when ballots are returned as undeliverable. Ballots and envelopes are designed with features such as personalized barcodes, and signatures are verified by bipartisan teams.
Voter suppression is the enemy of democracy, but democracy thrives with the participation of an informed populace.
Fight Voter Suppression! Tell State Lawmakers to Expand Access to Vote at Home by Mail by Adding Your Name Now.