General Question

janbb's avatar

How will the fires impact the Western states' ability to hold the election?

Asked by janbb (56762points) 1 week ago

The pandemic is bad enough but I’m wondering how difficult it will be to for voting to be held in the West with people dislocated, towns burnt down, etc.

Please note that this is General so I don’t want any candidates trashed or promoted. Posts that devolve into that will be flagged.

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17 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Oregon and Washington both do all mail in voting, So as long as people can get their mail, there won’t be a disruption. California has already been urging people to vote by mail.

And the USPS is pretty good about getting mail to people despite their towns burning down. It was one of ethnic few bright spots in Santa Rosa a couple of years back when half the city was destroyed.

janbb's avatar

^ Thanks. It’s another one of my many 3 a.m. worries.

Jeruba's avatar

@zenvelo, how did and do they do that? I’ve been wondering what happens to the mail when it’s addressed to a single house that’s been destroyed, never mind a district or town. I saw one disaster photo from Oregon of a whole fire-leveled neighborhood, with a familiar USPS delivery truck in the foreground, but there were no answers. Do they just hold it at the P.O.?

And what was “ethnic” in your post supposed to be?

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba I was wondering about that too re: “ethnic.”

And the rest.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, I’ll bet “the.” Another autocorrect casualty. For my part, I prefer to be the auto in autocorrect.

janbb's avatar

I think you’re right.

zenvelo's avatar

@Jeruba yes, for some reason, when I misspell “the” it gets changed to “ethnic”, but I don’t see it because it isn’t underlined in red.

The PO is good about holding the mail at a local distribution center, and after a disaster will hold it or quite a while.

kritiper's avatar

One way or another, we’ll get it done. We’re Westerners!

stanleybmanly's avatar

Your letter carrier will indeed hold your mail at his station. If you for any reason can’t get to the station to retrieve it, you can request that he deliver it to one of your neighbors that you trust. In the case of an entire neighborhood burning down, that truck in @Jeruba’s photo might well be the mailman with the mail for his route sorted and ready to distribute to those prepared to step up and ask for it.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Your letter carrier will indeed hold your mail at his station. If you for any reason can’t get to the station to retrieve it, you can request that he deliver it to one of your neighbors that you trust. In the case of an entire neighborhood burning down, that truck in @Jeruba ‘s photo might well be the mailman with the mail for his route sorted and ready to distribute to those prepared to step up and ask for it.

stanleybmanly's avatar

That’s odd!

janbb's avatar

Not going to give you a GA for each, Stan!

JLeslie's avatar

I’m just brainstorming.

Will they forward mail-in ballots? Some types of mail can’t be forwarded. If people have temporary addresses maybe they can just get the mail forwarded. It can take two weeks for the mail to start showing up in the new location. There is still time.

I think I read in Maryland You can print a ballot yourself. That’s how it should be everywhere. Maybe the effected states could allow that considering the circumstance. I don’t know how complicated that would be.

Regarding what jellies said above, I know my mail person will hold mail for weeks for me even if I haven’t put a formal hold in my mail. Technically she is supposed to bring it back to the post office if I haven’t picked it up, but she just keeps it for us in the mail station where I collect my mail. My point is, I do think the post office will take care of the mail and deliver it if at all possible to wherever the person is. This is what the USPS is known for and why most of America loves our USPS.

Another option is delaying the election in those states. The electors don’t vote until mid December. Many states accept mail-in ballots up to two weeks past Election Day anyway.

zenvelo's avatar

Delaying the vote is not an option. That would require an act of Congress, and Trump has already floated that idea.

JLeslie's avatar

@zenvelo They can make the rule that it needs to be postmarked on Election Day rather than received if any of the states have the requirement of received by.

Edit: Are you sure the act of Congress isn’t about when the electors vote? Election Day there is wiggle as I mentioned about when the ballots can be received. If everything had to be done on Election Day in November there wouldn’t be that wiggle room. Just thinking about it logically.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@JLeslie each state has already set the requirements for mail in votes ! No changes ‘cause it is inconvenient or Trump says . . . .

JLeslie's avatar

I googled. According to the website I looked at California accepts ballots after Election Day as long as they are postmarked on time, but Oregon doesn’t. I wouldn’t rely on this site as a voter, I would always check my state website for current rules. https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/vopp-table-11-receipt-and-postmark-deadlines-for-absentee-ballots.aspx

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