Can Vote by Mail Work in Low Income Minority Neighborhoods?

Maryland and Ohio recently held elections almost entirely by mail and their different approaches provide insight into the impact on low-income voters, particularly those without permanent addresses. All registered voters in Maryland were sent mail-from-home ballots whereas Ohio voters had to request a ballot. Despite some reports of issues, turnout in Maryland increased 10 percentage points overall and 6 points in Baltimore City, indicating no widespread disenfranchisement in poorer counties. In Ohio, the extra step created a barrier for many voters and turnout decreased from 43.6% in 2016 to just 22.6%.

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