Voting in the time of COVID-19

How does the current crisis affect upcoming elections?

Although COVID-19 presents an unprecedented challenge to modern elections, most states are doing all they can to ensure voters can still participate in democracy safely and in a timely manner.

Here’s what you’ll need to know:


Although many states allow all voters to vote by mail in every election cycle, additional states are creating legislation expanding absentee voting, which is sometimes also referred to as voting by mail.

There has been a lot of discussion in the news since 2020 about these two voting methods, but it’s important for you to know that voting by mail is the same as absentee voting — although rules and even the language around this kind of voting vary by state. That means it’s a good idea to get familiar with how your specific state votes by mail so that you can be prepared with a plan as early as possible.

Check the rules in your state

Read more about voting by mail


Take steps to keep yourself and others healthy. Following CDC guidelines, including wearing face masks and maintaining a safe distance from other people when possible are essential to participating in your civic duty responsibly.

The CDC suggests these precautions:

  • Wash your hands often, or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
  • Monitor your health daily by watching for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.

Check the latest from the CDC

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