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Absentee voting

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Absentee voting refers to voting by some other method than in person on Election Day. Typically, absentee voting occurs either by mail or over the internet. All states allow for some form of absentee balloting. Some states require voters to provide a valid excuse to vote absentee while others allow any eligible voter to cast an absentee ballot.[1]


The following 19 states require a citizen to provide a valid excuse for their inability to vote in person on Election Day.[1]

Commonly accepted reasons for casting an absentee ballot include:[1]

  • a voter's absence from his or her home county on Election Day
  • illness or physical disability
  • a voter's prolonged absence from his or her home county (e.g., armed forces personnel, overseas employees, college students, etc.)
  • a voter being required to work during polling hours
  • religious observance
  • incarceration (non-felony)

The following 28 states (plus the District of Columbia) do not require any excuse to vote absentee and allow all citizens to vote in this manner:[1]

The remaining three states (Colorado, Oregon and Washington) conduct all elections using a vote-by-mail system. As a result, there is no need for absentee balloting. Proponents argue that a vote-by-mail system reduces the cost of elections and increases voter turnout.[2]

Absentee voting by state

For more information about absentee voting in your state, select your state from the map below.

Voting in NevadaVoting in AlaskaVoting in HawaiiVoting in ArizonaVoting in UtahVoting in New MexicoVoting in ColoradoVoting in WyomingVoting in CaliforniaVoting in OregonVoting in WashingtonVoting in IdahoVoting in MontanaVoting in North DakotaVoting in South DakotaVoting in NebraskaVoting in KansasVoting in OklahomaVoting in TexasVoting in MinnesotaVoting in IowaVoting in MissouriVoting in ArkansasVoting in LouisianaVoting in MississippiVoting in AlabamaVoting in WisconsinVoting in IllinoisVoting in TennesseeVoting in KentuckyVoting in IndianaVoting in MichiganVoting in OhioVoting in GeorgiaVoting in FloridaVoting in South CarolinaVoting in North CarolinaVoting in VirginiaVoting in West VirginiaVoting in PennsylvaniaVoting in New YorkVoting in VermontVoting in New HampshireVoting in MassachusettsVoting in Rhode IslandVoting in ConnecticutVoting in New JerseyVoting in DelawareVoting in MarylandVoting in MaineUS map.png

See also