Mail ballot access is an important way to make voting fair and equitable for all Americans. Robust mail ballot systems increase turnout across demographics — regardless of party affiliation — while maintaining security and instilling confidence in the results.
Many voters prior to 2020 relied on voting systems that made it difficult to vote anywhere other than on election day, in person, and at a single government-specified polling location.
Vote-at-home (VAH) systems, on the other hand, deliver democracy straight to a voter’s doorstep. By automatically mailing a ballot to every registered voter, they can:
- Spend more time studying the candidates and measures on their ballot when it is automatically mailed to them three weeks before election day.
- Return their ballot to a secure ballot drop box or voting center conveniently located, or by mail, postage-free, and postmarked by election day to ensure their vote is counted.
- Track their ballots and receive notification from election officials when their ballot is counted.
Since 2018, states across the country have dramatically increased voters’ access to mailed-out ballots. Today, nearly 40 percent of U.S. voters can have a ballot mailed to them automatically for every election.
National Vote at Home Institute (NVAHI) has helped facilitate innovation of vote-at-home systems by offering policy and implementation recommendations, research, and communications support to states across the country. In 2020, the organization:
- Improved election operations in 2020 by providing assistance to numerous state and local election offices in 37 states, with a concentration in the key battleground states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
- Improved ballot access for 69 million Americans through policy changes and implementation advice going back to NVAHI’s founding in 2018.
- In partnership with election officials and organizations across the country, NVAHI helped deliver the most secure election in U.S. history resulting in record-breaking turnout of nearly two-thirds of eligible voters.
2022 Annual Report
What Happened in American Elections 2020?
2020 Retrospective: Vote -at-home Policy Actions