Guide to Voting in a Pandemic

Evelyn Sorg '24, Staff Writer

Voting, a right afforded to all Americans, but not all Americans chose to vote. According to the Pew Research Center, in the 2016 presidential election only 56% of Americans who were eligible to vote did so.  

To be eligible to vote, an American citizen must be 18 years and older as well as registered at their local election’s office. Many states provide different ways to become a reinstated voter, such as filling out a form online or at their local Department of Motor Vehicles.

For local and statewide elections, citizens cast a ballot directly for the person they want to represent them. When voting for the President of the United States, a citizen casts a ballot for the President of their choice. However, in these presidential elections, America uses a system known as the Electoral College. The Electoral College consists of statewide political party representatives. The number of electors in each state’s Electoral College depends upon the number of senators and representatives in that particular state. For example, Pennsylvania has 20 members in the Electoral College. Currently, the Electoral College consists of 538 members. An Elector casts a ballot for the President based upon the majority of the votes cast in their state for a particular Presidential candidate.

There are three ways to vote: absentee ballot, mail-in voting, and voting on election day in-person. For many, the most common and most popular way to vote was on election day in-person. According to the New York Times, with Covid-19 presenting a danger to voters this year, many have started turning towards different ways to vote, mail-in ballots being the most popular.

Now, especially this year, mail-in voting has become an essential way for American citizens to have their voice heard. So go vote! Do your duty as an American who is eligible, and go vote!