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Mail fraud facts, myths and how to vote by mail or absentee

Vote stickers for the elction

Voting by mail is safe and secure.


James Martin/CNET

This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET’s coverage of the run-up to voting in November.

Mail-in voting this fall won’t lead to “massive electoral fraud and a rigged 2020 Election,” as President Donald Trump has falsely and repeatedly claimed. And the president’s projection that the US will “never have a Republican elected in this country again” if states make it easier to vote is political posturing.

Trump is the main driver behind a “disinformation campaign” about US voting and voters in the 2020 election, an Oct. 1 study from Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center found, after analyzing more than 55,000 online media stories, 5 million tweets and 75,000 posts to public Facebook pages that spurred millions of interactions. “This highly effective disinformation campaign, with potentially profound effects for both participation in and the legitimacy of the 2020 election, was

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  • October 12, 2020
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Everything You Need to Know If This Is Your First Time Voting by Mail

Close up of hand putting voting ballot to mailbox.
Close up of hand putting voting ballot to mailbox.

Voting is an important part of our democracy, and it’s crucial to understand your rights and responsibilities as the 2020 presidential election grows nearer. Traditionally, most eligible voters cast their ballots at polling stations in person on Election Day. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many citizens are looking into absentee voting in order to avoid large crowds and gatherings.

If this is your first time voting absentee, you may have questions about eligibility, process, and safety. Read on for all the answers.

Related: Trump Stoked Fear With His “Unsolicited Ballots” Claim – Here’s What You Need to Know

What Are Solicited and Unsolicited Ballots?
What Are Solicited and Unsolicited Ballots?

What is absentee voting and who can participate?

Absentee and early voting are the official processes that let you vote by mail in the United States. Voting online is not allowed in federal elections, so if

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  • October 5, 2020
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It’s in the mail: California sending ballots to all voters

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FILE – In this May 12, 2020, file photo, Arjan Walia votes during a special election in Santa Clarita, Calif. The Nov. 3 election will test California’s commitment to voting by mail as the nation’s most populous state will offer fewer in-person polling places hoping it will convince more people to cast ballots from the safety of their mailboxes during a pandemic. If it doesn’t work, the state could see long lines and frustrated voters on Election Day compounded by coronavirus protocols that will make voting in person slower in a year expected to draw a big turnout.

AP

The Nov. 3 election will test Californians’ commitment to voting by mail as the nation’s most populous state offers far fewer in-person polling places, hoping that during a pandemic voters will choose to cast ballots from the safety of their mailboxes.

If it doesn’t work, the

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  • October 5, 2020
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In Colorado town, the post office delivers much more than the mail

Young customers wait to mail a package at the Leadville, Colo., post office. <span class=(Richard Read / Los Angeles Times)” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/mUXvTy532CuGXR70vDtYfg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTUyOC41MTQwNTYyMjQ4OTk2/https://media.zenfs.com/en/la_times_articles_853/3932b237233e8c71422592c9905d5f28″ data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/mUXvTy532CuGXR70vDtYfg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTUyOC41MTQwNTYyMjQ4OTk2/https://media.zenfs.com/en/la_times_articles_853/3932b237233e8c71422592c9905d5f28″/
Young customers wait to mail a package at the Leadville, Colo., post office. (Richard Read / Los Angeles Times)

This mountain outpost, at 10,152 feet the highest city in North America, has ridden many a boom and bust.

By 1880, a silver mining bonanza had turned Leadville into the biggest settlement between St. Louis and San Francisco.

A century later, it went belly-up when collapsing prices for the metal molybdenum claimed thousands of mining jobs.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, the town of 2,760 was making a comeback as a tourist destination, its refurbished Victorian hotel buildings, the Silver Dollar Saloon and an elaborate mining museum framed by snowcapped peaks.

The one constant over the years — not counting the bitter winters and the altitude that leaves visitors gasping — has been the United States Postal Service.

Leadville has no car dealership,

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  • August 30, 2020
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Postal Service Shrugs Off Chicago Mail Delivery Complaints

CHICAGO — For days and weeks this month, mailboxes have gone empty across Chicago. Folks cussed out postal clerks. Aldermen fielded telephone complaints. U.S. Rep. Daniel Lipiniski wrote a letter to the U.S. Postal Service demanding a “thorough investigation” and “corrective action” to make mail delivery regular again in Mount Greenwood’s 60655 Zip code.

In a July 27 reply, the U.S. Postal Service shrugged.

Sure, there’s been some service issues during the “challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic” due to “a fluctuation in employee availability.” But “additional measures” have been taken to “improve delivery and customer service experiences,” according to the letter from Postal Service government liaison Sheila Meyers obtained by Patch.

The Postal Service’s “final response” to complaints forwarded by Lipinski downplayed the public outcry over missing mail. The letter claimed delivery complaints dropped 45 percent in July. As for neighbor complaints about rude post office clerks, data from

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Supervisors Of Elections Urge Residents To Vote Early Or By Mail

TAMPA BAY, FL — With the 2020 primary coming up on Aug. 18 and the general election on Nov. 3, Tampa Bay supervisors of elections are working together to help residents get out the vote in the age of coronavirus.

Hoping to avoid long lines of masked, socially distanced voters at polling places during the primary, the supervisors of elections are encouraging residents to look at the alternatives to in-person voting.

The deadline to register to vote or change your party affiliation is July 20.

Vote By Mail

  • Contact your supervisor of elections office no later than Aug. 8 to request that a ballot be mailed to you, or you may pick up a mail ballot at an elections office in your county.

  • Mail ballots must be received by your supervisor of elections no later than 7 p.m. on primary day, Aug. 18.

  • Don’t forget to sign your vote by

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