Julie McKinney, MS
October 23, 2020

Voting in 2020: Here are some tips to do it right and make sure your vote counts!

This year, voting may be trickier. See our other blog to learn more.Click here to learn about your state’s process and deadlines. That will also show you how to contact your local election office. You can call them if you have any questions!

This year, voting may be trickier. See our other blog to learn more. 


Voting by mail is safe and easy. But you do have to make sure to fill out your ballot correctly, sign the envelope and get it in on time. 

  • Read the directions carefully!

  • Fill out the circles completely!

  • Check the back of the page. (There may be more candidates or some Questions that your state is voting on.)

  • Sign the envelope! Some states require a witness to also sign.

  • Get it in on time! 

  • See this 1-minute video to see how it’s done. (Note: your state may have different deadlines or rules about witnesses.)


The biggest reasons why some mail-in ballots are not counted are because they are not signed, or they arrive late. Find out your state’s deadlines and make sure to plan ahead to get your ballot in on time. Look up your state’s rules here. Some have a deadline for the ballot to be postmarked and some have a deadline for the ballot to arrive . Find out for sure! 

Remember, you can put it in the mail or in the official, secure drop box at your local election office. 

In person

  • Remember you can vote early in most states! This can be safer because the lines will not be as long.

  • Wear a mask to stay safe!

  • If you have a disability, there are rules to make it easier. Look up your state’s rules here. For example, you should NOT have to wait in line! Click here for some tips.

  • If anyone intimidates you or tries to prevent you from registering or voting, call the Election Protection Hotline: 1-866-687-8683

Ballots are tricky!

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Whether you vote by mail or in person, each local area may have a different type of ballot. If you have any questions about how to fill it out, don’t guess–ask for help!

  • Mail-in ballots: call your local election office.

  • In-person voting: ask the people who check you in.

More resources:

  • Julie McKinney, MS

    Director of Training / Health Literacy Specialist

    Julie McKinney has over 25 years of experience in health literacy, plain language, and adult education. She has deep expertise in writing information so it’s easy to understand, and has developed trainings for educators in clear communication.

    At Exceptional Lives, she ensures that our content is clear and friendly. She also works to strengthen relationships with community partners, and designs trainings that help them connect with families.
    Julie also has experience parenting kids with ADHD, learning disabilities and significant intellectual disability. She has ushered her own children through schooling and transition to adulthood, and is committed to helping make this process easier for others.

    Her core view is that good relationships are the key to just about anything we hope for.

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