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Mailing ballots happens every election

Jason Wojciechowski
Last Updated: September 11th, 2020

President Trump continues to warn that 80 million ballots are being sent unsolicited to voters. He is most likely misquoting an August New York Times article talking about the number of mail-in-ballots that will be received by election officials. Many of those are mailed out every election and half that number that will be requested by voters, not "unsolicited."

Five states have run elections by mail for years:

  • Colorado
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Hawaii
  • Utah

Some states are mailing ballots to all voters due to COVID-19 worries:

  • California
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Vermont
  • Washington, D.C.

Montana is allowing counties to choose to conduct all voting by mail.

44.4 million ballots are being sent to registered voter in those states. Barely half of Trump’s 80 million claim.

The Times article stated:

80 million mail ballots will flood election offices this fall.

This is twice the number as usual, but 40 million are voters requesting absentee ballots.

(Graphic via FlowingData)


Where Americans Can Vote by Mail in the 2020 Elections

More Americans will vote by mail this fall than ever before, as states expand mail voting laws in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Juliette Love  —The New York Times

PolitiFact - Trump’s misleading claim about ‘unsolicited’ mail ballots

PolitiFact is a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others on its Truth-O-Meter.

Donald Trump  —@politifact

Voting by Mail

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