As voters prepare to make their voices heard on Election Day, during a pandemic, the news cycle is full of debates about voter fraud and the merits of voting by mail. The terms ‘absentee ballot’ and ‘mail-in ballot’ keep getting tossed around seemingly interchangeably. There is, however, a key difference.
Every U.S. state allows absentee voting, that is, if you cannot physically go to your polling location in person on Election Day, a ballot is sent to you via the mail. Typically, several states require an explanation be given for why you can’t vote in-person.
Historically. these ballots were only available for military personnel and American citizens overseas, those out of town, or those who are ill, according to CNET. These ballots are now widely used across the nation.
Due to the pandemic, 35 states have changed their absentee voting policies to allow anyone to apply for one, hoping to lessen the spread of the virus.
Some states have deemed this “no-excuse absentee voting,” meaning a voter doesn’t have to give an explanation this cycle, but they do still have to apply for the ballot.
Some states are sending applications for absentee ballots out to all voters, these request-forms have been mistaken as mail-in ballots across social media. as reported by CNET. While this promotes widespread voting through the mail, it is not a “mail-in ballot.”
Mail-in ballots are sent to every eligible voter in the state, without any request or explanation needed. Several states including California and Washington are sending legitimate ballots to every voter in the state whether or not they are wanted. Other terms for this are “all-mail voting” and “universal vote by mail.”
This term can mean different things in various states. “Mail-in voting” can mean no-excuse absentee voting or it can mean universal vote by mail. To be sure of your state’s planned method, check with your state’s Board of Elections.
Other methods to cast a vote include early voting, which is an in-person option as select polling locations or good-old voting in-person on Election Day.
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Special counsel Jack Smith continues to ask U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan to silence former President Donald Trump by any means necessary ahead of an October 16 hearing on a proposed gag order.
Smith’s original request was unsealed last week, prompting Trump to respond on social media platforms and interview, which Smith’s office says bolsters their case to place a gag order on Trump.
In a 22-page filing, senior assistant special counsel Molly Gaston said prosecutors rejected Trump’s claims that their proposed gag order was an attempt to silence him on the campaign trail. Rather, she said, it was an effort to prevent him from trying to make “use of his candidacy as a cover for making prejudicial public statements about this case.”
NEW: Jack Smith again begs Judge Chutkan to muzzle Donald Trump by claiming basically everyone is a "witness" in the Jan 6 case: pic.twitter.com/P4vBlRdjUG
— Julie Kelly 🇺🇸 (@julie_kelly2) October 1, 2023
“[T]here is no legitimate need for the defendant, in the course of his campaign, to attack known witnesses regarding the substance of their anticipated testimony,” Gaston wrote.
“[N]o other criminal defendant would be permitted to issue public statements insinuating that a known witness in his case should be executed,” Gaston wrote. “This defendant should not be, either.”
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