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Difference between revisions of "Absentee voting"

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{{Voter info VNT}}This page contains '''absentee voting information pertaining to the 50 states, up to date for the [[2012 election dates|2012 elections]]'''.
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{{Voter info VNT}}This page contains '''absentee voting information pertaining to the 50 states, up to date for the [[Ballotpedia:Calendar|2014 elections]]'''.
  
 
Absentee voting refers to voting by some other means than in person on election day.  Most of the time this is either by mail or over the Internet.  All states allow for some form of absentee balloting, but not all states require a reason to vote absentee and allow anyone to vote absentee.
 
Absentee voting refers to voting by some other means than in person on election day.  Most of the time this is either by mail or over the Internet.  All states allow for some form of absentee balloting, but not all states require a reason to vote absentee and allow anyone to vote absentee.

Revision as of 20:18, 28 January 2014

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General Information
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Voting in 2014 Primaries
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Absentee voting • Early voting 
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Online voter registration in the 50 states
This page contains absentee voting information pertaining to the 50 states, up to date for the 2014 elections.

Absentee voting refers to voting by some other means than in person on election day. Most of the time this is either by mail or over the Internet. All states allow for some form of absentee balloting, but not all states require a reason to vote absentee and allow anyone to vote absentee.

State-by-state-breakdown

AbsenteeMap.png

A total of 20 states require a citizen to provide a valid reason for their inability to vote in person on election day. They are as follows:

The following are some of the most common reasons accepted to vote absentee before the election:

  • Absence from the county on election day;
  • Illness or physical disability;
  • Living outside the county; such as armed forces, overseas employees, college students, or their families;
  • Is an appointed election officer or poll worked at a polling place other than his or her own;
  • Works a required shift during polling hours
  • Religious observance
  • Incarceration (non-felony)

28 states do not require any excuse to vote absentee and allow all citizens to vote in this manner. They are as follows:

The remaining two states (Oregon and Washington) conduct all elections using a vote by mail system. Therefore, there is no need for absentee balloting.

The most common reasons given for using a vote by mail system are reduced cost of elections and increased voter turnout.[1]

Absentee voting

The tabs below contain the following information relating to absentee voting:

  • Eligibility requirements
  • Deadlines relating to requesting and returning absentee balloting
  • Special information pertaining to military/overseas voters
[edit]

See also: Voting in Alabama

Eligibility

A voter is eligible to vote absentee in an election if he or she cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[2]

  • Will be absent from the county on election day;
  • Is ill or has a physical infirmity that prevents a trip to the polling place;
  • Is A Registered Alabama Voter Living Outside The County including but not limited to, members of the armed forces or a U.S. citizen residing overseas (or a spouse or dependent of such a person) or students at an educational institution located outside their county of residence;
  • Is an appointed election officer or poll watcher at a polling place other than his or her regular polling place; or
  • Works A Required Shift Which Has At Least 10 Hours that coincide with polling hours.
  • Business/Medical Emergency Voting applications can be made after the absentee deadline but no later than 5 PM on the day before the election, if the voter:
  • is required by an employer due to unforeseen circumstances to be out of the county on an emergency business trip on election day; or
  • has a medical emergency requiring treatment from a licensed physician within 5 days of an election.
  • In addition to application information outlined in the next section, the business emergency application contains an affidavit acknowledging that the voter was not aware of the out-of-county business trip prior to the normal absentee ballot deadline. The medical emergency application requires that the attending physician describe and certify the circumstances as constituting an emergency.

Deadlines

The absentee ballot application must be received at least five days prior to the election. It must then be returned either in person by close of business the day before the election or by mail. If returned by mail, it must be postmarked no later than the day before the election and received by the election manager by noon on election day.[2]

Military and overseas voting

Citizens who are members of the Uniformed Services or their family members, Merchant Marines, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Alabama overseas citizens (UOCAVA voters) can receive their ballots by either electronic transmission or by U.S. mail.[2]

See also: Voting in Alaska

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Alaska. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[3]

Deadlines

If a voter is already registered to vote, an absentee ballot application must be received by the election office at least 10 days prior to the election. If a voter has not yet registered to vote, or needs to update voter registration information, an absentee ballot application must be received at least 30 days before the election.[3] Check here for additional deadlines pertaining to specific elections.

Absentee voting can also be done electronically or by fax. The application for absentee by electronic transmission ballot can be obtained starting 15 days prior to the election up to the day preceding the election. The ballot must then be returned by election day.[4]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Arizona

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Arizona. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[5]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the election office at least by 5 p.m. 11 days prior to the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office by 7 p.m. on election day.[6]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Arkansas

Eligibility

You are eligible to vote absentee in an election if you cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[7]

  • you will be unavoidably absent from your polling site on election day, OR
  • you will be unable to attend your polling site on election day due to illness or physical disability, OR
  • you are a member of the U.S. armed forces, merchant marines or the spouse or a dependant family member, OR
  • you are a U.S. citizen domiciled in Arkansas but temporarily living outside the territorial limits of the United States.

Deadlines

To vote absentee a request must be received at least seven days prior to the election (by mail or fax) or the day before election (in person). The ballot must then be returned either in person by close of business the day before the election or by mail. If returned by mail, it must be received by 7:30 p.m. on election day.[7]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in California

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in California. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[8]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the election office at least 7 days prior to the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office by close of polls on election day.[8]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Colorado

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Colorado. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[9]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the election office at least seven days prior to the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office by close of polls on election day.[9]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Connecticut

Eligibility

You are eligible to vote absentee in an election if you cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[10]

  • You will be actively serving in the U.S. armed forces
  • You will be absent from town during all the hours of voting
  • You are ill
  • You have a physical disability which makes it difficult for you to get to the polls
  • Your religion forbids you from participating in non-religious activities on election day
  • Your required performance of duties as a primary, referendum, or election official at a polling place other than your own during all the hours on election day

Deadlines

The absentee ballot must be returned either in person by close of business the day before the election or by mail. If returned by mail, it must be received by close of polls on election day.[11]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Delaware

Eligibility

You are eligible to vote absentee in an election if you cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[12]

  • Work: The nature of your work prevents you from going to your polling place (this includes students).
  • Public Service: Your service to the United States or to the State of Delaware prevents you from going to your polling place. Spouses or dependents of the person in service also qualify. (Public service includes military, American Red Cross, etc.)
  • International: You are temporarily residing outside of the United States.
  • Religion: The tenets or teaching of your religion prevent you from going to your polling place.
  • Vacation: You are on vacation on election day.
  • Illness: you are sick.
  • Disability: You are permanently or temporarily disabled.
  • Incarceration: You cannot make it to the polls because you are incarcerated.

Deadlines

To vote absentee a request must be made by the Friday prior to the election. The ballot must then be returned and received by elections officials by noon on election day.[13]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Florida

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Florida. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[14]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the election office at least 6 days prior to the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office by 7 p.m. on election day.[14]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Georgia

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Georgia. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[15]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received at any point up until the close of polls on election day. However, a returned absentee ballot must be received by 7 p.m. on election day.[15]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Hawaii

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Hawaii. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[16]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the election office seven days prior to the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office by close of polls on election day.[17][18]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Idaho

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Idaho. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[19]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the election office at least six days prior to the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office by 8 p.m. on election day.[19]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Illinois

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Illinois. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[20]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the election office between 40 and 5 days prior to the election if sent by mail. If applied for in person, it must be received no later than the day before the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be postmarked no later than midnight the night before election and received no later than 14 days after the election.[20]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Indiana

Eligibility

You are eligible to vote absentee in an election if you cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[21]

  • You have a specific, reasonable expectation that you will be absent from the county on Election Day during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open (6 am until 6 pm).
  • You have a disability.
  • You are at least 65 years of age.
  • You will have official election duties outside of your voting precinct.
  • You are scheduled to work at your regular place of employment during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
  • You will be confined due to illness or injury or you will be caring for an individual confined due to illness or injury during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
  • You are prevented from voting because of a religious discipline or religious holiday during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
  • You are a participant in the state's address confidentiality program.
  • You are a member of the military or a public safety officer.

Deadlines

To vote absentee a request must be received at least eight days prior to the election.[21] The ballot must then be returned by close of polls on election day.[22]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Iowa

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Iowa. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[23]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the election office by 5 p.m. the Friday before the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be postmarked the day before election day and received by noon on the Monday following the election.[23]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Kansas

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Kansas. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[24]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the election office between 90 and 4 days prior to the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office by 7 p.m. on election day.[25]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Kentucky

Eligibility

You are eligible to vote absentee in an election if you cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[26]

  • you are advanced in age, disabled, or ill;
  • you are in the military, the dependent of military personnel, or an overseas citizen;
  • you are a student who temporarily resides outside the county;
  • you are a voter who temporarily resides outside of Kentucky and who maintains eligibility to vote in Kentucky (such as a vacationer);
  • you are incarcerated, but not yet convicted of a crime; or
  • you are employed outside of the county all hours the polling place is open.

Deadlines

To vote absentee a request must be received at least seven days prior to the election. The ballot must then be returned by 6 p.m. on election day.[26]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Louisiana

Eligibility

You are eligible to vote absentee in an election if you cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[27]

  • you are in the military, the dependent of military personell, or an overseas citizen;
  • you are 65 years of age or older;
  • you are at home or a nursing or veterans' home resident and you have been previously approved for the Disability Program, or you are disabled, homebound or a nursing or veterans' home resident. You must submit one of three kinds of current proof of disability with your application:
  • a copy of a mobility impaired identification card issued by the Office of Motor Vehicles;
  • a copy of social security disability benefits, veteran’s disability benefits, paratransit services, benefits from the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, or benefits from Louisiana Rehabilitation Services; or
  • a physician’s letter certifying your disability (this is required for a new homebound or nursing home application).
  • you are a student, instructor, or professor located and living outside of your parish of registration, or the spouse/dependent thereof (if you are a student voting for the first time, you must include a copy of your student ID);
  • you are a minister, priest, rabbi, or other member of the clergy assigned outside of your parish of registration, or the spouse/dependent thereof;
  • you are or expect to be temporarily outside the territorial limits of the state or absent from your parish of registration during the early voting period and on election day (if you request a ballot to be mailed to an address within the parish, you must indicate the dates you will be temporarily absent from the state/parish);
  • you moved your residence to another parish more than 100 miles from the parish seat of your former residence after the voter registration books closed (30 days prior to the election);
  • you are involuntarily confined in an institution for mental treatment outside your parish of registration and you are not interdicted and not judicially declared incompetent;
  • you expect to be hospitalized on election day and you did not have knowledge until after the time for early voting had expired; or you were hospitalized during the time for early voting and you expect to be hospitalized on election day; or you were either hospitalized or restricted to bed by your physician during early voting and on election day;
  • you expect to be out of your precinct of registration and upon the waters of the state both during the early voting period and on election day because of your employment or occupation;
  • you are incarcerated in an institution inside or outside of your parish of registration and you are not under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony (you must attach a certification of the sheriff with your application);
  • you are a program participant in the Department of State Address Confidentiality Program; or
  • you will be sequestered on the day of the election (you must attach a certified copy of the court order of sequestration with your application).

Deadlines

To vote absentee a request must be received no earlier than 60 days prior to the election and no later than four days prior. The ballot must then be returned by 4:30 p.m. on the day before the election. Military personnel, their dependents, U.S. citizens residing outside of the United States and voters who are hospitalized may return an absentee ballot request by 4:30 p.m. the day before the election and submit their ballot by 8 p.m. on election day.[27]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Maine

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Maine. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[28]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the election office no earlier than three months prior to the election and no later than the third business day before the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office by 8 p.m. on election day.[28]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Maryland

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Maryland. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[29]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the election office at least seven days prior to the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be postmarked on or before election day if submitted by mail. Ballots can also be returned in person until 8 p.m. on election day.[29]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Massachusetts

Eligibility

You are eligible to vote absentee in an election if you cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[30]

  • you will be absent from your city or town on election day, and/or
  • you have a physical disability that prevents your voting at the polling place, and/or
  • you cannot vote at the polls due to religious beliefs

Deadlines

To vote absentee a request must be received by noon on the day before the election. The ballot must then be returned by the close of polls on election day.[30]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Michigan

Eligibility

You are eligible to vote absentee in an election if you cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[31]

  • you are 60 years old or older
  • you are unable to vote without assistance at the polls
  • you are expecting to be out of town on election day
  • you are in jail awaiting arraignment or trial
  • you are unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons
  • you are appointed to work as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence.

Deadlines

To vote absentee a request must be received by 2 p.m. on the Saturday before the election. The ballot must then be returned by 8 p.m. on election day.[31]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Minnesota

Eligibility

You are eligible to vote absentee in an election if you cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[32]

  • you are away from home
  • you are ill or disabled
  • you are an election judge serving in a precinct other than your own
  • you are unable to go to the polling place due to a religious observance or belief
  • an eligible emergency is declared by the governor or quarantine is declared by the federal or state government.

Deadlines

There is no specific deadline for applying for an absentee ballot. The ballot must then be returned on or before election day for it to be counted.[32]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Mississippi

Eligibility

You are eligible to vote absentee in an election if you cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[33]

  • You will be outside the county on election day.
  • You are an enlisted or commissioned member of any component of the United States Armed Forces, or spouse or dependent of such member.
  • You are a Member of the Merchant Marine or the American Red Cross, or spouse or dependent of such member.
  • You are a disabled war veteran who is a patient in any hospital, or the spouse or dependent of such veteran.
  • You are a civilian attached to and serving outside of the United States with any branch of the Armed Forces or with the Merchant Marine or American Red Cross, or spouse or dependent of such civilian.
  • You are a citizen of Mississippi temporarily residing outside the territorial limits of the United States and the District of Columbia.
  • You are a student, teacher or administrator at a college, university, junior or community college, high, junior high, elementary or grade school, whose studies or employment at such institution necessitates your absence from the county of your voting residence or spouse or dependent of such student, teacher or administrator
  • You have a temporary or permanent physical disability.
  • You are sixty-five (65) years of age or older.
  • You are the parent, spouse or dependent of a person with a temporary or permanent physical disability who is hospitalized outside his or her county of residence or more than fifty (50) miles away from his or her residence, and you will be with such person on election day.
  • You are a member of the congressional delegation, or spouse or dependent of a member of the congressional delegation.
  • You are required to be at work on election day during the times which the polls will be open.

Deadlines

There is no specific deadline for applying for an absentee ballot. The ballot must then be returned by 5 p.m. on the day before the election.[33]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Missouri

Eligibility

You are eligible to vote absentee in an election if you cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[34]

  • Will be absent from your voting jurisdiction on election day
  • Are incapacitated or confined due to illness or physical disability, or caring for an incapacitated person
  • Are restricted by religious belief or practice
  • Are employed by an election authority
  • Are incarcerated but have retained all your voting qualifications

Deadlines

To vote absentee a request must be received by 5 p.m. on the Wednesday prior to the election. The ballot must then be returned by 5 p.m. the day before the election if returned in person or the close of polls on election day.[34]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Montana

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Montana. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[35]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the county election office by noon the day prior to the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office before the close of polls on election day.[35]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Nebraska

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Nebraska. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[36]

Deadlines

The last day to request an absentee ballot to be mailed is the Wednesday prior to Election Day at 4 PM. A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office by 8 PM (CST) on election day.[36]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Nevada

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Nevada. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[37]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the election office no later than 5 PM on the seventh calendar day preceding the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office by 7 PM on election day.[37]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in New Hampshire

Eligibility

You are eligible to vote absentee in an election if you cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[38][39]

  • you will be absent on the day of any state election from the county, city, or town in which you are registered to vote
  • you are unable appear in public on election day because of your observance of a religious commitment
  • you are unable to vote in person by reason of physical disability
  • you are unable to vote in person by reason of military service
  • you are unable to appear at any time during polling hours at your polling place because an employment obligation requires you to remain physically at work or to be in transit to or from work from the time the polls open until after the time the polls close

Deadlines

There is no specific deadline for applying for an absentee ballot. The ballot must then be returned either in person by 5 p.m. the day before the election or by mail. If returned by mail, the ballot must be received by 5 p.m. on election day.[38][39]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in New Jersey

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in New Jersey. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[40]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the county election office at least seven days prior to the election if returned by mail. It can also be submitted in person to the county election office until 3 PM on the day before the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office by the time the polls close on election day.[41]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

2012 updates

In light of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno allowed voters to cast their ballots by email and fax.[42]

See also: Voting in New Mexico

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in New Mexico. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[43]

Deadlines

The county clerk must receive the absentee ballot application no later than 5 PM on Friday before the election. Ballots must be returned to the county clerk or voter's precinct before 7 PM on Election Day to be counted.[43]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in New York

Eligibility

You are eligible to vote absentee in an election if you cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[44]

  • unavoidably absent from your county on election day
  • unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability
  • a patient in a Veterans’ Administration Hospital
  • detained in jail awaiting Grand Jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony

Deadlines

Applications must be mailed to the county board of elections no later than the seventh day before the election or delivered in person no later than the day before the election. Voters may also request an absentee ballot by sending a letter to their county boards of election. The letter must be received by the county board no earlier than 30 days and no later than seven days before the election. An application form will be mailed with the absentee ballot. The application form must be completed and returned with the ballot.[44]

If sent by mail, the returned ballot must be postmarked by the day before the election and received no later than the seventh day after the election. If submitted in person, the ballot must be received by close of polls on election day.[45]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in North Carolina

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in North Carolina. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[46]

Deadlines

A request to vote absentee must be received by the appropriate county board of elections no later than 5 PM on the last Tuesday before the election. The voted ballot must then be received by the elections office by 5 PM on the day before the election.[46]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in North Dakota

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in North Dakota. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[47]

Deadlines

There is no specific deadline for applying for an absentee ballot. The voted ballot must be postmarked at least one day before the election.[47]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Ohio

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Ohio. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[48]

Deadlines

Absentee ballots may be requested for each individual election beginning on January 1 or 90 days before the date of an election, whichever is earlier. The request must be received by the local county board of elections by noon the third day before the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be postmarked at least one day before election day and received by the elections board no later than 10 days after the election.[48]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

2014 developments

On February 21, 2014, Governor John Kasich signed into law two bills that altered the state's early and absentee voting provisions. Senate Bill 238 eliminated "Golden Week," a period during which state residents could register and vote on the same day, and shortened the early voting period by a week. Senate Bill 238 reduced the number of voting days from 35 to 29. Under Senate Bill 205, the Secretary of State will be required to get funding approval from the legislature before mailing absentee ballot applications statewide.[49]

Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald denounced the bills as "outrageous and unnecessary and totally motivated by a desire to make it tougher to vote." He also indicated that he had directed his county law director to review the bills for possible legal action.[49]

The bipartisan Ohio Association of Election Officials has said that allowing individuals to both register and vote on the same day results in difficulties in properly validating voters.[49]

2012 developments

As of 2012, all registered voters in Ohio will receive an absentee ballot application in the mail. This is the first time in the state's history that all registered voters will receive applications, earning widespread praise from both parties. The only concern comes from those voters who request an absentee ballot but later decide to vote in person at the polls, which could cause increased numbers of provisional ballots. Provisional ballots are only used when there are questions over whether a person may cast a ballot. They are counted only once a voter's eligibility has been confirmed, in this case, after confirming that he or she did not both vote absentee and at the polls.[50]

See also: Voting in Oklahoma

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Oklahoma. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[51]

Deadlines

Applications for absentee ballots must be received by the county election board by 5 PM on the Wednesday preceding the election.[51] A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office before 7 PM on election day.[51]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Oregon

Oregon exclusively uses a vote by mail system. As such, there is no need for explicit absentee or early voting procedures.[52]

See also: Voting in Pennsylvania

Eligibility

A voter is eligible to vote absentee in an election if he or she cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[53]

  • A person who is or may be in the military service of the United States, regardless of whether at the time of voting the person is present in the election district of residence or in the Commonwealth and regardless of whether he or she is registered to vote.
  • A spouse or dependent residing with or accompanying a person in the military service of the United States and who expects on Election Day to be absent from his or her municipality of residence during the entire period in which the polling places are open for voting (7 a.m. to 8 p.m.).
  • A member of the Merchant Marine and his/her spouse and dependents residing with or accompanying the Merchant Marine, who expect on Election Day to be absent from the Commonwealth or the municipality of residence during the entire period in which the polling places are open for voting (7 a.m. to 8 p.m.).
  • A member of a religious or welfare group attached to and serving with the armed forces and his/her spouse and dependents residing with or accompanying him or her, who expect on Election Day to be absent from the Commonwealth or the municipality of residence during the entire period in which the polling places are open for voting (7 a.m. to 8 p.m.).
  • An individual who, because of the elector's duties, occupation or business (including attendance of college in another coutny/state, leaves of absence for teaching, vacations and sabbatical leaves), expects on Election Day to be absent from his/her municipality of residence during the entire period the polls are open for voting and the spouse and dependents of such electors who are residing with or accompanying the elector and for that reason also expect to be absent from his/her municipality during the entire period the polls are open for voting (7 a.m. to 8 p.m.).
  • A qualified war veteran elector who is bedridden or hospitalized due to illness or physical disability if the elector is absent from the municipality of his residence and unable to attend his/her polling place because of such illness or disability, regardless of whether the elector is registered to vote.
  • A person who, because of illness or physical disability, is unable to attend his/her polling place or to operate a voting machine and obtain assistance by distinct and audible statements. (Note: A disabled elector may be placed on a permanently disabled absentee file.)
  • A spouse or dependent accompanying a person employed by the Commonwealth or the Federal Government, in the event that the employee's duties, occupation or business on Election Day require him/her to be absent from the Commonwealth or the municipality of residence during the entire period the polls are open for voting (7:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M).
  • A county employee who expects that his Election Day duties relating to the conduct of the election will prevent the employee from voting.
  • A person who will not attend a polling place on Election Day because of the observance of a religious holiday.

Deadlines

A request to vote by absentee ballot must be received no later than 5 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election. Completed non-emergency absentee ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day. In presidential election years, absentee ballots received after the state deadline but by the time polls close on Election Day will be counted for the offices of president and vice president.[53]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

2012 developments

Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Corbett gave an executive order, extending the deadline for receipt of completed absentee ballots by the county Board of Elections to 5 p.m. on November 5, 2012. The extension applied to those counties where the Board of Elections was closed due to Hurricane Sandy.[54]

See also: Voting in Rhode Island

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Rhode Island. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[55]

Deadlines

Absentee ballot applications must be received by the county election office by 4 p.m. on the 21st day before the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office by 9 p.m. on election day.[55][56]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in South Carolina

Eligibility

Voters are eligible to vote absentee in an election if they cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[57]

  • Students attending school outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them
  • Members of the Armed Forces or Merchant Marine serving outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them
  • Persons serving with the American Red Cross or with the United Service Organizations (USO) who are attached to and serving with the Armed Forces outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them
  • Persons who, for reasons of employment, will not be able to vote on election day
  • Physically disabled persons
  • Government employees serving outside their county of residence on Election Day and their spouses and dependents residing with them
  • Persons with a death or funeral in the family within three days before the election
  • Persons who plan to be on vacation outside their county of residence on Election Day
  • Certified poll watchers, poll managers, and county election officials working on Election Day
  • Overseas Citizens
  • Persons attending sick or physically disabled persons
  • Persons admitted to the hospital as emergency patients on Election Day or within a four-day period before the election
  • Persons serving as a juror in state or federal court on Election Day
  • Persons sixty-five years of age or older
  • Persons confined to a jail or pre-trial facility pending disposition of arrest or trial

Deadlines

To vote absentee, a request must be received no later than 5 p.m. on the fourth day prior to the election. The ballot must then be returned by 7 p.m. on election day.[57]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in South Dakota

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in South Dakota. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[58][59]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the county election official no later than 5 p.m. the day before the election.[58] A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office by close of polls on election day.[60]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Tennessee

Eligibility

Voters are eligible to vote absentee in an election if they cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[61]

  • The voter will be outside the county of registration during the early voting period and all day on election day;
  • The voter or the voter’s spouse is enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited college oruniversity outside the county of registration;
  • The voter’s licensed physician has filed a statement with the county election commission stating that, in the physician's judgment, the voter is medically unable to vote in person. The statement must be filed not less than seven (7) days before the election and signed under the penalty of perjury;
  • The voter resides in a licensed facility providing relatively permanent domiciliary care, other than a penal institution, outside the voter's county of residence;
  • The voter will be unable to vote in person due to service as a juror for a federal or state court;
  • The voter is sixty (60) years of age or older;
  • The voter has a physical disability and an inaccessible polling place;
  • The voter is hospitalized, ill, or physically disabled and because of such condition, cannot vote in person;
  • The voter is a caretaker of a person who is hospitalized, ill, or disabled;
  • The voter is a candidate for office in the election;
  • The voter serves as an election day official or as a member or employee of the election commission;
  • The voter’s observance of a religious holiday prevents him or her from voting in person during the early voting period and on election day;
  • The voter or the voter’s spouse possesses a valid commercial drivers license (CDL) or the voter possesses a valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card and certifies that he or she will be working outside the state or county of registration during the open hours of early voting and Election Day, and has no specific out-of-county or out-of-state address to which mail may be sent or received during such time.
  • The voter is a member of the military or is an overseas citizen.

Deadlines

To vote absentee a request must be received by the county election commission no earlier than 90 days and no later than seven days prior to the election. The ballot must then be returned by close of polls on Election Day.[61]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Texas

Eligibility

Voters are eligible to vote absentee in an election if they cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[62]

  • The voter is away from his or her county on election day and during early voting.
  • The voter is sick or disabled.
  • The voter is 65 years of age or older on Election Day.
  • The voter is confined in jail, but eligible to vote.

Deadlines

To vote absentee a request must be received by county elections office no earlier than 30 days prior to the election and no later than close of business seven days prior to the election. The ballot must then be returned by close of polls on election day.[63]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Utah

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Utah. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[64]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the county election officer no later than the Thursday before Election Day.[65] A returned absentee ballot must be postmarked by the day before the election.[66]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Vermont

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Vermont. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[67]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the town clerk by 5 p.m. on the day before the election.[68] A completed absentee ballot must be returned to the town clerk before the close of business on the day before the election or to the polling place before 7 p.m. on the day of the election.[69]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

2012 developments

The U.S. Justice Department settled a lawsuit with Vermont over the state's delayed mailing of some absentee ballots, which was filed by the federal government.[70]

The U.S. Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act requires that those absentee ballots which are requested by voters be mailed out at least 45 days before an election.[70]

Due to a dispute over the Progressive Party's gubernatorial primary results, the completion of the general election ballot was delayed until September 30. This caused at least 191 of the 894 absentee ballots to be mailed late.[70]

As a result of the lawsuit, voters whose ballots were sent late had their receipt deadline extended by 10 days.[70]

See also: Voting in Virginia

Eligibility

Voters are eligible to vote absentee in an election if they cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[71]

  • Student attending college or university outside of locality of residence in Virginia
  • Spouse of student attending college or university outside locality of residence in Virginia
  • Business outside County/City of residence on election day
  • Personal business or vacation outside County/City of residence on election day
  • Working and commuting to/from home for 11 or more hours between 6 AM and 7 PM on election day
  • First responder (law enforcement, fire fighter, emergency technician, etc.)
  • Disability or illness
  • Primarily and personally responsible for the care of a disabled/ill family member confined at home
  • Pregnancy
  • Confined, awaiting trial
  • Confined, convicted of misdemeanor
  • Electoral board member, registrar, officer of election, or custodian of voting equipment
  • Religious obligation
  • Active Duty Merchant Marine or Armed Forces
  • Spouse or dependent living with Active Duty Merchant Marine or Armed Forces member
  • Temporarily residing outside U.S.
  • Temporarily residing outside of U.S. for employment or spouse or dependent residing with employee
  • Requesting a ballot for presidential and vice-presidential electors only
  • Authorized representative of candidate or party serving inside the polling place

Deadlines

To vote absentee by mail, the deadline to apply is 5 PM EST on the Tuesday prior to the election. To vote absentee in person, the deadline to apply is the Saturday before the election. The ballot must then be returned by close of polls on election day.[72]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

2013 developments

A House subcommittee rejected a bill that would allow citizens to vote absentee without requiring a reason for doing so. The reason stated for rejecting the bill was a lack of resources. Win Sowder of the Williamsburg registrar's office said, "This would be a real burden on our office. Our office is really small and early absentee voting would set us up for failure."[73]

However, a different bill by Delegate Daniel W. Marshall, III which would allow voters 65 and older to cast absentee ballots without an excuse was approved.[73]

See also: Voting in Washington

Washington uses a vote by mail system. As such, there are no explicit absentee and early voting procedures.[74]

See also: Voting in West Virginia

Eligibility

Registered voters are are eligible to vote absentee in an election if they cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[75]

  • You will be working or traveling all 13 days prior to Election Day
  • Your hours of employment make voting impossible
  • You live another place during part of the year
  • You have been given a job assignment which requires you to live outside of your county or West Virginia
  • You have health problems or a physical disability
  • Your polling place inaccessible to you
  • You have been hospitalized because of an emergency and will be in the hospital or care facility seven days leading up to and including Election Day
  • You are in the military or overseas
  • You attend school away from home
  • You are under incarceration or detention in jail or in home (not for any felony, or treason, or bribery in an election)

Deadlines

To vote absentee a request must be received by the county clerk no later than the sixth day prior to the election. The ballot must then be postmarked no later than election day and received by the canvass day (the Friday after a primary and the Monday after a general election).[75]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Wisconsin

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Wisconsin. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[76]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the municipal clerk no later than 5 p.m. on the Thursday before the election. If mailed through the U.S. Postal Service, a returned absentee ballot must be postmarked no later than Election Day and received no later than 4 p.m. on the Friday after the election. For other means of delivery, the completed ballot must be delivered to the municipal clerk no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day.[76]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

See also: Voting in Wyoming

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Wyoming. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[77]

Deadlines

No specific deadline is noted for absentee ballot applications.[77][78] A returned absentee ballot must be received by the elections office by 7 p.m. on Election Day.[77]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

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