Holding Safe and Fair Elections in 2020

All Americans deserve fair access to cast their vote safely and securely even when facing an unprecedented combination of political polarization and a global coronavirus pandemic. 

FairVote’s mission is grounded in ensuring that every voter matters in every election. The following is a resource for voters and those seeking to take actions on how to best ensure safe elections with high participation this fall. It includes resource guides from journalists, government associations, think tanks and coalition partners in response to voting questions as they arise. 

2020 Guides to Help You Vote:

When to Expect Election Results:

The pandemic and expanded absentee voting are likely to slow down counting of ballots in some states. It is likely that local and national election results will not be announced on election night and will potentially take several days before the count is final. 

Some jurisdictions report their absentee votes first and others report in-person votes first. If voters who use different voting methods have different partisan makeups, initial results reported on election night could look different from the final results. Remember that the only official results are those certified by state governments in the weeks following the election.

2020 Election Administration Policy:

Voter Registration:

The United States continues to lag other major democracies in efficient and inclusive voter registration. Here are resources involving registering to vote this year.

Voter Information:

We know some partisans and foreign agents have sought to mislead voters, with new opportunities via social media and unregulated online content. Resources on how to combat voter disinformation campaigns include:

Mail-in / Absentee Voting:

The New York Times reports that as of August 2020, a record 76% of Americans will be able to vote-by-mail without an excuse this year. Several states have expanded vote-by-mail options this year. 

However, many states have strict deadlines by which absentee ballots must arrive to be counted. If you have a mail ballot but have not already mailed it in, election officials say you should drop it off in person at your local election office or bring it to an official ballot drop box. If you have not yet requested a mail-in ballot, it is likely too late to do so and you should vote in person.

Voter Access and Poll Workers:

Providing in-person access to polling stations is critically important for those who cannot rely upon mail or have not received mail-in ballots.

Election Schedule and Post-Election Dispute Resolution:

In this polarized time, many Americans fear the "other side" winning. Here are resources on what's likely to happen after the election.

Featured Civic Events Backed by FairVote:

Join Us Today to Help Create a More Perfect Union