Happy National Vote by Mail Day everyone! This distinctly bipartisan celebration has done the digital rounds and gone postal in the best senses of the words. Let's take a deep dive into the pixelated past of this day, that's as democratic as a neighborhood potluck...minus the potato salad.
It's national vote by mail day on the 28th July.
No, National Vote by Mail Day isn't about voting on your favorite mail carrier (though shoutout to all those delivering mail come rain, hail or snow), but about exercising your democratic right with the help of the humble mailbox!
The large numbers of online mentions of National Vote by Mail Day vaulted it into digital stardom. In fact, the number of mentions peaked at an astonishing 57544 times. We suspect that some of this excitement was fueled by the particular circumstances of 2020. On July 28th of that year, posts relating to National Vote by Mail Day exploded across the internet as if Santa himself had decided to check his mail bag for democratic intentions.
And that's the beauty of National Vote by Mail Day. It's not about whether or not you believe pineapple has any business being on pizza. It's about the fact that you get to voice your opinion, from home, in your jammies, all through the power of mail!
Whichever way you swing on the political playground, this day is a huge step towards making voting more accessible for everyone. If it’s your thing, the next National Vote by Mail Day could be celebrated with a good old-fashioned letter writing party. Remember, many hands make light work – or in this case, many stamps ensure a light-hearted democracy.
In 1864, during the American Civil War, the Union Army introduced the concept of absentee voting. It allowed soldiers to vote by mail instead of physically going to their home state to cast their ballots. This was done to ensure that soldiers serving on the front lines could still exercise their right to vote.
Oregon became the first state to adopt a permanent vote-by-mail system in 1892. Initially, this system was put in place to overcome the obstacles faced by voters living in remote areas, where access to polling stations was challenging. The state introduced mail-in ballots as an alternative method to promote inclusivity and increase voter participation.
In the 21st century, the concept of mail voting gained more prominence in the United States. By 2000, twenty-eight states had implemented no-excuse absentee voting, allowing any eligible voter to vote by mail without needing a specific reason. This expansion aimed to make the voting process more convenient and accessible to a wider range of citizens.
The year 2020 witnessed a significant surge in the use of mail voting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As traditional polling stations faced challenges in maintaining social distancing and ensuring public safety, many states expanded their mail voting options to accommodate a greater number of voters. This shift allowed individuals to cast their ballots from the safety and comfort of their homes, minimizing the risk of exposure to the virus.
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