On November 3, Americans will vote for the next President of the United States. Voting regulations differ in each state, making local officials responsible for determining how and where eligible residents cast ballots. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, voting across the country will look different this year.
In my home state of Delaware, registered voters can cast their ballots in person, by absentee ballot, or by mail-in ballot. To ensure everyone’s safety, Delaware and other states are taking precautions.
“We’ll provide personal protective equipment [PPE] to poll workers, ask all voters to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and clean and disinfect voting equipment after each voter uses it,” Anthony Albence, Delaware’s State Election Commissioner, told me via email. Delaware is partnering with state employees and community organizations to recruit poll workers.
Absentee ballots were first used by soldiers during the Civil War. Typically, people who are in the military, living overseas, or homebound due to illness request them.