CLAREMONT, Calif. (NCC News) –With the 2020 Presidential Election just over a month away, voters around the country are gearing up to vote. Which state you are registered in will determine if you will need to apply to vote by mail.
Unlike New York State, California voters don’t need to apply to receive a mail-in ballot. They are permanent mail-in voters after they receive a mail-in ballot for the first time.
In an election year when the president is casting doubt on the United States Postal Service’s capabilities of processing mail-in ballots, many voters are turning towards voting in-person. The in-person voting option is less than ideal, considering long lines and an increased risk for COVID-19.
Twenty-year-old California voter that usually votes by mail-in Massachusets, Anissa Medina, is taking a gap year from Harvard University this academic year and will be living and voting in California this November. Medina cast a mail-in ballot in Massachusetts for the election’s primary earlier this year. While Medina will be casting her ballot this November by mail, she is concerned for other voters who may not know their voting status.
In California, voters are asked if they would like to receive a mail-in ballot. If they mark ‘yes,’ they will become permanent mail-in voters. If these voters decide to go to the polls to vote in person, they will be given an absentee ballot that will not be counted until the state confirms the voter did not also vote by mail.
Medina suggests the state should map out the steps to confirm your voter status and expresses worry for people who are unsure.
“I feel like once you do something you kind of forget what you chose,” Medina said.
Voters can check their voting status by visiting their state’s voter registration website or calling their local county elections office.