People will now be able to vote via the mail in New York and Kentucky

As the US ramps up for what is sure to be an unprecedented election season, two states are making it easier for citizens to cast their vote without coming into contact with others: New York and Kentucky. 

Governors Andrew Cuomo and Andy Beshear both signed executive orders on Friday for absentee ballot applications to be mailed to all voters in the state. The decision was prompted by COVID-19 shutdowns, but it reflects trends in voter mobilization groups that have advocated for more accessible mail-in voting. New York will even include prepaid postage for the return application. Cuomo says it is important for voters to not have to choose between their health and their civic rights. 

Both states also postponed their primaries until June 23, hoping to avoid the chaos seen in Wisconsin where voters were forced to wait in long lines in close proximity to one another. 

Other states have taken action to promote voter safety as well. Ohio has begun an ambitious entirely mail-in vote initiative and the counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach in Florida have enacted absentee ballot application processes as well. 

Expanding mail-in vote capabilities is incredibly beneficial during the pandemic, but will also continue to improve voter turnout and facilitate voter registration long after the pandemic. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced an updated bill that would expand mail-in voting capabilities nationally. Currently, only 34 states allow citizens to vote by mail.

Critics of vote-in mailing say it increases voter fraud, but there is little evidence to support this claim. Mail-in ballots reduce congestion at polls and make it easier for voters with mobility challenges or inflexible work hours to more easily participate in the democratic process.

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People will now be able to vote via the mail in New York and Kentucky

As the US ramps up for what is sure to be an unprecedented election season, two states are making it easier for citizens to cast their vote without coming into contact with others: New York and Kentucky. 

Governors Andrew Cuomo and Andy Beshear both signed executive orders on Friday for absentee ballot applications to be mailed to all voters in the state. The decision was prompted by COVID-19 shutdowns, but it reflects trends in voter mobilization groups that have advocated for more accessible mail-in voting. New York will even include prepaid postage for the return application. Cuomo says it is important for voters to not have to choose between their health and their civic rights. 

Both states also postponed their primaries until June 23, hoping to avoid the chaos seen in Wisconsin where voters were forced to wait in long lines in close proximity to one another. 

Other states have taken action to promote voter safety as well. Ohio has begun an ambitious entirely mail-in vote initiative and the counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach in Florida have enacted absentee ballot application processes as well. 

Expanding mail-in vote capabilities is incredibly beneficial during the pandemic, but will also continue to improve voter turnout and facilitate voter registration long after the pandemic. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced an updated bill that would expand mail-in voting capabilities nationally. Currently, only 34 states allow citizens to vote by mail.

Critics of vote-in mailing say it increases voter fraud, but there is little evidence to support this claim. Mail-in ballots reduce congestion at polls and make it easier for voters with mobility challenges or inflexible work hours to more easily participate in the democratic process.

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