Only about half the country has access to the secure drop boxes that give voters an alternative way to return a mail-in ballot without relying on the U.S. Postal Service.
Data compiled by Yahoo News and the Voting Rights Lab, a group focused on increasing voter participation, show that only 24 states currently have drop boxes, and two more are in the process of implementing them.
President Trump has repeatedly made false statements about various aspects of the presidential election, including drop boxes. On Sunday, the president neglected to mention the established security measures that states take to prevent double voting — including ballot-tracking in 42 states and the District of Columbia — and said someone could vote multiple times through a drop box.
People on Twitter flagged Trump’s false statement for violating rules “about civic and election integrity.”
Meanwhile Michael Adams, Kentucky’s Republican secretary of state who also is a senior legal adviser to Vice President Pence, told Yahoo News that Republican voters in his state like drop boxes “better than the Democrats do, because Republicans have less confidence in the postal system and they’re more likely to drop that and see it go into the bin.”
“The drop boxes have been really popular,” Adams said.
Adams also called out Trump’s complaints about election fraud in general as incorrect. “You’re not going to see widespread fraud in a presidential or a Senate or a governor’s race. It’s just not feasible,” Adams said.
Drop boxes are similar to blue Postal Service receptacles on a street corner, only they’re run by county or local elections officials. They offer an option for voters who are worried about the Postal Service losing their ballot, mishandling it or turning it in too late to be counted.
But not every state has drop boxes, and even in those states that have them, not every county has them.
Voters should check with their local board of elections to see if their town or county has a drop box. Yahoo News has a list of the local board of elections in all 50 states, which you can read here. If you have questions about drop boxes, call your local officials.
Yahoo News will update this list on drop boxes as more information becomes available.
“Arizona uses drop boxes. We are in the process of ordering about 70 additional drop boxes across the state. For some counties, this will be their first time using them. For some others, it will add on to their total. A few counties are using CARES funds to purchase their own outside of the state’s order. The number of and locations of each drop box is determined by county officials.” — Sophia Solis, Arizona Secretary of State’s Office
“On August 6, California enacted legislation that allows counties that do not vote by mail to systematically consolidate polling places if they also take steps to facilitate voting, one of which is providing two drop boxes or one per 15,000 registered voters, whichever is greater. These boxes must be available beginning 28 days before Election Day and continuing through Election Day. At least one must be outside, and available for at least 12 hours a day. Counties that do not choose to consolidate polling places as authorized by the new law continue to have the option, but not the requirement, of offering drop boxes.” — Voting Rights Lab
“Colorado is increasing its distribution of drop boxes for the November election.” — Voting Rights Lab
“On July 31, Gov. Ned Lamont signed House Bill 6002a, which authorizes the return of ballots via drop boxes. Prior decisions by Secretary Merrill resulted in drop boxes being installed in every town.” — Voting Rights Lab
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
“The D.C. Board of Elections has announced drop box locations in each ward for the general election.” — Voting Rights Lab
"H.B. 346 establishes drop boxes inside each Department of Elections Office.” — Voting Rights Lab
“Voters can return their vote-by-mail to secure drop boxes at their Supervisors of Elections main and branch office(s), and during the early voting period, at each of their Supervisors’ designated early voting sites. Some counties are also offering additional secure drop box locations during the early voting period.” — Mark Ard, Florida Department of State
“The State Board of Elections issued a regulation extending the use of drop boxes. While it will remain at the discretion of counties to request SBOE-funded boxes, evidence suggests that there was widespread adoption for the primary election. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) has encouraged all counties to establish drop boxes and has said that state grant money will be available to pay for them.” — Voting Rights Lab
“Some counties have established ballot drop boxes.” — Voting Rights Lab
“Illinois legislation authorized the use of drop boxes for the 2020 general election, and they have been established in several counties.” — Voting Rights Lab
“Sedgwick County, the state’s second largest, will deploy 14 drop boxes for the November election, up from one for the primary.” — Voting Rights Lab
“On August 14, Gov. Andy Beshear issued an executive order adopting recommendations from Secretary of State Michael Adams (R) directing the State Board of Elections to purchase ballot drop boxes and make them available to county clerks.” — Voting Rights Lab
“Massachusetts enacted legislation allowing municipalities to set up drop boxes.” — Voting Rights Lab
“The State Board of Election’s plan for the Nov. 3 election indicates that 127 drop boxes will be available statewide for the November election.” — Voting Rights Lab. A spokesman for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan told Yahoo News that the state is increasing its total of boxes above its current total of 127.
“Michigan law does not require drop boxes, but nearly every jurisdiction has already installed them in varying numbers. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced that her office will provide CARES Act funding to reimburse localities that install additional boxes prior to the November election.” — Voting Rights Lab (You can find a list of the more than 900 drop box locations in Michigan here: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/sos/Ballot_Dropbox_Locations_697191_7.pdf)
“Secretary of State Robert Evnen (R) has stated that drop boxes will be available for ballot return in all counties in November.” — Voting Rights Lab
“Governor Murphy’s order regarding the conduct of the November 3 general election requires each county, to the extent possible, to provide at least 10 drop boxes.” — Voting Rights Lab
“State law enacted in 2019 appears to require that drop boxes meeting certain standards be placed in every county. Based on communications with the Secretary of State’s office, boxes should be in place in every county by the November election.” — Voting Rights Lab
“On August 3, Gov. Steve Sisolak signed A.B. 4, which will require each county to establish at least one ballot drop box.” — Voting Rights Lab
“N.Y. Senate Bill 8902, which is currently pending, would authorize but not require drop boxes.” — Voting Rights Lab
“Secretary of State Frank LaRose issued a directive requiring each county Board of Elections to place a secure drop box for ballot return outside the board’s office. LaRose’s directive also prohibited counties to provide any additional drop boxes.” — Voting Rights Lab
The state’s “drop box locator” will be updated 20 days before the election and can be found here: https://sos.oregon.gov/voting/Pages/drop-box-locator.aspx
“Rhode Island has adopted regulations that require every city and town to provide at least one secure drop box for the September primary and November general election.” — Voting Rights Lab
“The county auditor for Minnehaha County, the state's largest, is seeking to add 15 for the November election.” — Voting Rights Lab
“The Utah legislature unanimously passed a bill concerning the conduct of the November general election that requires all counties to provide secure drop boxes for the election.” — Voting Rights Lab
“Certain jurisdictions (Arlington County, Fredericksburg) have announced they will provide drop box locations for the November election.” — Voting Rights Lab
Washington state has held its elections entirely by mail-in vote since 2011 and has tracked voter use of drop boxes since 2012. In the 2016 election, 56.9 percent of ballots were cast via secure drop boxes.
"Drop box use is increasing significantly for the November election. For example, Wisconsin's largest cities, Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Racine, and Kenosha, received a major grant, part of which will be spent on drop boxes in each city. Smaller cities are also acquiring drop boxes.” — Voting Rights Lab
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