What is Vote by Mail?

  • Some states automatically send all registered voters mail-in ballots.
  • Some send mail-in ballots to all voters who request one.
  • Some require an “excuse” for receiving a mail-in ballot.

So do what Saturn in Capricorn wants us to do and step it up and get that absentee ballot.

When do I have to request a Vote By Mail ballot?

  • To make sure you get your ballot before Election Day, check your voter registration status and request a mail-in ballot ASAP. States require that “vote by mail” requests be received anywhere from 1 to 14 days before Election Day.
  • Check out this link to find your states’ application periods and deadlines. Check your registration status.

When does my mail-in ballot have to be returned for it to be counted?

  • Many states need your ballot in hand on Election Day, but check this list of state ballot deadlines to find out the laws in your state. Your ballot may need to be either postmarked or received by the due date. The United States Postal Service (❤ we stan) expects to handle millions of ballots this election cycle, so make it easy on them and vote at least five days in advance for the safe delivery of your precious vote. Mercury will be retrograde when all this is going down, so make a plan to combat the chaos. You can also drop off your ballot in person at specified local locations.
  • Help the USPS out and hand your ballot in yourself, if you can. Some states have created “Ballot Drop Off Centers” to make it easier to get your ballot turned in. Check to see the rules for your state.
  • This all might seem overwhelming, but you’ve got this! If you could covertly find your crush’s rising sign, you can totally figure out how to vote by mail.

How Your Vote Matters

In other U.S. elections, candidates are elected directly by popular vote. But the president and vice president are elected differently -- they’re chosen by “electors” through what’s called the Electoral College. Even so, every person’s vote counts towards these electoral votes and every single vote counts in sending a message to our elected officials and the world about what we as Americans believe in.

Here’s how the Electoral College works:

  • Each state holds a certain number of electors, and therefore electoral votes. 
  • When you cast your ballot for the president, your vote goes to a statewide tally. The winning candidate for each state (all states except Maine and Nebraska) receives all of that state’s electoral votes. 
  • A candidate needs the vote of at least 270 electors — more than half of all electors — to win the presidential election.

When you vote, you contribute to your county’s tally, which contributes to your state’s tally, which helps your state avoid the perils of Mercury Retrograde for a hundred years to come. Okay, the last part isn’t true, but your individual vote influences whether or not your candidate of choice will receive the electoral votes in your state, and that’s a pretty big deal.

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