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Christian Smith-Socaris on November 4, 2008 - 6:22pm
One reform that some states have used to give voters
greater access to the polls is expanding the option to vote by mail. All
states allow for some voters, typically the disabled and infirmed, to vote with
an absentee ballot. 28
states currently allow any voter to choose a mail-in absentee ballot.
States can go even further by maintaining a list of voters who choose to
always vote by mail and then automatically sending them a mail-in ballot every
election. Florida's statute provides an excellent example of a
simple absentee voting law that allows access for all voters.
Two states, Oregon and Washington, have gone to virtually universal vote-by-mail elections and only make limited use of traditional polling places. Advocates for voting by mail emphasize the replacement of faulty voting machines, the time voters get to reflect on their choices, and the successes of states like Oregon, which has had vote-by-mail for the longest time.
Progressive States Network - Voting
Common Cause - Vote by Mail
National Network on State Election Reform - Universal Absentee Voting
Oregon Secretary of State - Vote by Mail Resources
The American Prospect - Vote by Mail: An Exchange