ELECTION FAQs

Be prepared to participate in the 2020 General Election!

What is Election Day?

Election Day is the annual set date for public federal elections to be held in the United States. The date is set for the first Tuesday after November 1st because of federal law passed in 1792 and enforced by 1844. Statewide and local elections can vary however.

When is Election Day?

It is November 3rd, 2020.

What is Mail-in Voting?

Mail-in voting is receiving a ballot by mail and selecting your preferred candidate(s) on it, and then sending it in the mail to your local county election office.

Why are Mail-in Ballots being used now?

The concept of mail-in ballot has been present in the United States since the American Civil War where soldiers were not able to vote in person, and that idea has continued to be used for members in the US military. Since then, mail-in voting has been expanded in over 30 states, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, states have expanded their mail-in voting efforts to maintain public safety.

How do I register to vote, check where I would go vote in person , and/or get a Mail-in Ballot?

In order to get a ballot by mail, register to vote, or check you would vote in person, go to the top of the ‘ESU Votes’ page and look at the row where it says ‘Register to Vote’

What is the difference between a Mail-in Ballot and Absentee Ballot?

The difference between mail-in ballots and absentee ballots depends on the state. For many states, the terms are used interchangeably while others have two different ballots like Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, an absentee ballot can only be requested for a specific reason like being out of the area you are registered to vote and having a disability or illness while a mail-in ballot can be requested for any reason right now.

What are the major political parties in the United States and who are their candidates?

In the United States, there are two major parties: The Democratic Party and Republican Party. These two parties have won every presidential election since 1852 and have controlled Congress since 1856. Currently, the presidential candidates running for the Presidency of the United States are Democratic Candidate Joseph Biden and Republican Candidate and current President Donald Trump. There are other minor political parties like the Libertarian and Green Parties who are talked about during elections, specifically on the local and state election levels.

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