Election policy is nuanced and reflects the patchwork of regulations across states and jurisdictions across our country. In response to the need for clarity on the status of existing vote at home policy, we issued our “Vote at Home Policy Actions: COVID-19 Response”, a comprehensive 50 State Policy Analysis & Ranking.
Expanded use of mailed ballots consistently leads to higher voter turnout.
Paper ballots and verification processes ensure trust and security in election outcomes.
With safeguards, Voting at Home increases participation across demographics equitably.
States that conduct their elections using Voting at Home see significant cost savings.
Different states have implemented Vote at Home practices in various ways.
We dove deep into the 2020 election and have put out two reports of our key findings. You can find them and our vision for the road forward here.
A first look at the Survey of the Performance of American Elections from MIT.
Shortly after Super Tuesday, we were faced with evaluating how to conduct modern elections during a pandemic. The fully in-person model has long proven ineffective for many voters, and COVID-19 made those inefficiencies more pronounced: lack of funding, reliance on a vulnerable health population to work polls, close proximity for potentially hours on end in lines. In March 2020, NVAHI authored our “Vote at Home Scale Plan”: a roadmap for scaling up voting at home policies and infrastructure in a timely and effective way to help ensure the security and efficacy of American elections in 2020.
Voting at home is an easy process for voters, made possible by a constellation of processes behind the scenes. If you’re looking for the big picture of how it all comes together, and how voting at home positively impacts voters, read “The Colorado Voting Experience: A Model That Encourages Full Participation”, a joint effort by Common Cause and NVAHI outlining the strengths of Colorado’s vote at home system — and what other states can incorporate into their own models.
What is, best practices, and lessons learned from the National Vote at Home Institute (Updated Spring 2020).
Sample legislation for full “Step 5” vote at home policy
Vote at Home for local, municipal, county elections. Vote at home works well even below the state level.
Vote at Home Guide to ballot return choices. Optimizing drop boxes, vote centers, USPS, etc.
Vote at Home Guide to establishing a permanent absentee list including best practices to set up and manage it.
How “repeater” absentees argue for a “single sign-up” option – 43%-67% overlap!
NY Times op-ed – Detailed study of Colorado shows how VAH lifts all communities
NY Times Editorial Board – It’s time to Vote at Home to save the 2020 election
Research report on Colorado – the data behind the NY Times op-ed listed above
Washington Monthly – How Utah demonstrated how a county roll-out model works
Washington Post – Fresh research shows the minuscule amount of mailed-out ballot fraud
A 30 page, organized, in-depth set of much of the content below for those working to improve access to mailed out ballots in their state
Recent email blasts and updates from the National Vote at Home Institute.
National Conference of State Legislatures – The single best place for state by state policy
This report from Nonprofit Vote shows which voting reforms had the most impact. VAH, Same Day and Automatic Registration led the way
Stanford/Berkeley/UW research – CO sees 9.4% turnout increase from VAH
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Research – Voting by mailed ballots down the the county level – from 2016
28 million mailed ballots did NOT go missing – Real Clear Politics article missed the mark
US Election Assistance and Voting Survey 2018 – more detailed data, similar conclusions
Stanford University research – voting by mailed ballot does not provide any partisan advantage
A very insightful book on the subject, co-authored by our CEO Amber McReynolds.
Western states 2018 vote from mailed ballots – the data showing the 69%
Cost of voting by state in 2016. States with 100% vote at home, Oregon and Colorado, rank #1 and #2.
Bipartisan Policy Center – Election Task Force Report, VAH coverage starts on page 24
US regional voting methods over time – from MIT Election Lab
US Census data on the 2018 election – alternatives to Election Day voting hit 40%
Research from 2018 shows 69% of ballots cast in western states via vote at home is 27% nationally
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