Difference between revisions of "Early voting"

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{{Voter info VNT}}{{tnr}} This page contains '''early voting information pertaining to the 50 states, up to date for the [[2013 election dates|2013 elections]]'''.
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{{Voter info VNT}}{{tnr}} This page contains '''early voting information pertaining to the 50 states, up to date for the [[Ballotpedia:Calendar|2013 elections]]'''.
  
 
Early voting refers to voting in person at a polling station prior to the election date.  "Absentee in-person" voting is included as a form of early voting.  All but 8 states allow early voting in some form.
 
Early voting refers to voting in person at a polling station prior to the election date.  "Absentee in-person" voting is included as a form of early voting.  All but 8 states allow early voting in some form.

Revision as of 09:56, 17 October 2013

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This page contains early voting information pertaining to the 50 states, up to date for the 2013 elections.

Early voting refers to voting in person at a polling station prior to the election date. "Absentee in-person" voting is included as a form of early voting. All but 8 states allow early voting in some form.

State-by-state-breakdown

Earlymap.png

43 states allow early voting in some capacity.

  • Of those, 33 states do not require any special requirements to vote early. They are as follows:
The following are among the most common requirements for early voting:
  • absence from the county on election day;
  • illness or physical disability;
  • 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 on election day
  • religious observance
  • In the remaining state, New Jersey, early voting is handled on a county by county basis; not all counties have early voting.
  • Of the 43 states that allow early voting, 28 of them have a defined start date for when early voting begins.
    • The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in the 29 states analyzed. There are 9 states that allow early voting to begin as soon as a ballot is made available.

7 states do not allow early voting: Alabama, Connecticut, Michigan, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

Early voting

The tabs below contain the following information relating to early voting on a state-by-state basis:

  • Does the state allow early voting?
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Dates during which early voting is allowed
[edit]

See also: Voting in Alabama

Alabama is one of 14 states that does not have any form of early voting.

See also: Voting in Alaska

Alaska is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins 15 days before an election and ends on election day.[1] The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

See also: Voting in Arizona

Arizona is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins 26 days before an election and ends at 5 p.m. on the Friday prior to Election Day.[2] The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

See also: Voting in Arkansas

Arkansas is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Depending on the type of election, early voting begins seven to 15 days before an election and ends on the day prior to Election Day.[3] The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

See also: Voting in California

California is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting dates in California are determined by the counties. Look up your county information here. The nationwide average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

See also: Voting in Colorado

Colorado is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins 10 days before a primary election and 15 days before a general election and ends on the day prior to Election Day.[4] The nationwide average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

See also: Voting in Connecticut

Connecticut is one of 14 states that does not have any form of early voting.[5]

See also: Voting in Delaware

Delaware is one of 14 states that do not allow traditional early voting. Instead, early voting is offered in the form of absentee in-person voting and is available as soon as absentee ballots are made available up until noon on election day. To vote early, you must qualify for an absentee ballot. To see the accepted reasons for voting absentee, click here.[6]

See also: Voting in Florida

Florida is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins at least 10 days before an election and ends three days prior to Election Day.[7] The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

2013 developments

Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla (R), who sponsored the 2011 law that reduced the number of early voting days in Florida, authored a bill which would provide increased early voting opportunities.[6]

The proposal was to give counties an extra day for early voting before a general election and allow them to keep polls open for 14 hours. In addition, the bill required all elections supervisors to submit a report three months prior to a general election, outlining preparations for that election.[6]

In addition, Florida's election supervisors asked the legislature for the following changes with respect to early voting:[8]

  • Require that the Legislature comply with the 75-word ballot summary requirement that is required for citizen-led ballot initiatives (Lawmakers exempted themselves from that requirement years ago, and ordered the full text of several amendments to be on the November ballot, a leading contributor to long lines at polling places).
  • Require eight days of early voting in primary and general elections "with the option for supervisors to provide additional days not to exceed 14 days." (In 2011 the legislature reduced the number of early voting days from 14 to 8).
  • Give election supervisors the leeway to select more early voting sites (currently limited to election offices, city halls and libraries).

These changes were added and the bill was passed by the Florida State Legislature and signed by Governor Rick Scott (R).[9]

2012 developments

In 2011, the Republican-controlled legislature cut the number of early voting days from 12 to eight. However, due to a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the counties of Collier, Hardee, Hendry, Hillsborough, and Monroe would retain their full 12 days of early voting. That is because these counties are covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.[6]

The Justice Department has since agreed with the state's early voting schedule provided that the five counties must offer 96 hours of voting between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. over eight days, the maximum under the law. Both the counties and the state have agreed to the terms, so the case should now be thrown out.[10]

See also: Voting in Georgia

Georgia is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting is held Monday through Friday of the week immediately preceding the election.[11] The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

See also: Voting in Hawaii

Hawaii is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins 14 days before an election and ends three days prior to Election Day.[12] The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

See also: Voting in Idaho

Idaho is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins as soon as ballots become available and ends at 5:00 p.m. the Friday before Election Day.[13]

See also: Voting in Illinois

Illinois is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins 15 days before an election and ends on the third day prior to the election. Electors who vote early will be required to show identification.[14] The nationwide average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

See also: Voting in Indiana

Indiana is one of the 33 states (plus the District of Columbia) that permit early voting in some form. Early voting begins 29 days before an election and ends on the day prior to the election.[15]

See also: Voting in Iowa

Iowa is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins as soon as ballots are made available and ends on the day prior to Election Day. If polls open at noon, then early voting would occur from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. on Election Day as well.[16]

See also: Voting in Kansas

Kansas is one of 33 states (plus the District of Columbia) that permits some form of early voting. Early voting begins 20 days before an election. Ballots must be received by close of polls on Election Day.[17]

See also: Voting in Kentucky

Kentucky is one of 14 states that do not permit early voting in any form.

See also: Voting in Louisiana

Louisiana is one of 33 states (plus the District of Columbia) that permits some form of early voting. Early voting begins 14 days before an election and ends seven days prior to Election Day.[18]

See also: Voting in Maine

Maine is one of 33 states (plus the District of Columbia) that permits some form of early voting. Early voting begins as soon as ballots are made available and ends the day before Election Day.[19]

See also: Voting in Maryland

Maryland is one of 33 states (plus the District of Columbia) that permits some form of early voting. Early voting begins on the second Thursday prior to Election Day and ends on the Thursday before the election.[20]

See also: Voting in Massachusetts

Beginning in 2016, all voters will be entitled to vote early in general elections. The state will also permit voting by mail.[21]

See also: Voting in Michigan

Michigan is one of 14 states that do not permit early voting.[22]

See also: Voting in Minnesota

To vote early in Minnesota, a valid excuse is required. You may be eligible to vote early if:[6]

  • you will be away from home on Election Day
  • 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[23]

—Long Distance Voter

See also: Voting in Mississippi

Mississippi is one of 14 states that do not allow early voting.[24]

See also: Voting in Missouri

Missouri allows early in-person voting, but only for those who will not be in their home county on the day of the election.[25]

2013 developments

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander appointed an 11-member commission to review the state's election laws with the goal of increasing participation in early voting. The commission proposed removing the restriction on early voting and creating one polling place in each district where residents could vote early up to six weeks before Election Day.[26]

Additionally, the proposal would require districts with more than 175,000 registered voters to open up additional locations for early voting for a November presidential election. The locations would be required to be open at least four hours a day for a minimum of 14 days prior to the election.[27]

See also: Voting in Montana

Montana is one of 33 states (plus the District of Columbia) that permits some form of early voting. Early voting begins as soon as ballots are made available and ends on the day prior to Election Day.[28]

See also: Voting in Nebraska

Nebraska is one of 33 states (plus the District of Columbia) that permit some form of early voting.

See also: Voting in Nevada

Nevada is one of 33 states (plus the District of Columbia) that permits early voting in some form. Early voting begins on the third Saturday before the election and ends on the Friday prior to Election Day.[29][30]

See also: Voting in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is one of 14 states that do not permit early voting in any form.[31]

See also: Voting in New Jersey

New Jersey allows voters to cast in-person absentee ballots. This allows a voter to fill out a ballot prior to the election and deliver it in person to an election official's office.[32]

See also: Voting in New Mexico

New Mexico is one of 33 states (plus the District of Columbia) that permits some form of early voting. Early voting begins on the third Saturday (17 days) before the election and ends on the Saturday (three days) prior to Election Day.[11]

See also: Voting in New York

New York is one of eight states which allow early voting but require an excuse to vote early. Early voting begins as soon as ballots are available (at least 32 days before Election Day) and ends the day prior to the election. The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.[6][33]

To vote early you need to provide an excuse for why you will be unable to vote at the polls during normal voting hours. The following are valid reasons:[6]

  • 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[23]

—New York State Board of Elections

See also: Voting in North Carolina

North Carolina is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins on the third Thursday, 19 days, prior to Election Day and ends on the Saturday, three days, prior to the election. The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.[34]

See also: Voting in North Dakota

North Dakota is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins 15 days before an election and ends on the day prior to Election Day.[35] The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

See also: Voting in Ohio

Ohio is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins 29 days before an election and ends the day prior to Election Day.[36] The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

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. Senate Bill 205 required the Secretary of State to get funding approval from the legislature before mailing absentee ballot applications statewide.[37]

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.[37]

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.[37]

On May 1, 2014, the following plaintiffs brought a case challenging the reduction of early voting days against Secretary of State Jon Husted and Attorney General Mike DeWine in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio:[38]

2012 developments

The Supreme Court let the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit stand on October 16, 2012, in a one-sentence order. The Appeals Court ruled earlier that early voting must be offered to all voters if it is offered to the military, and the Supreme Court's decision finally put the issue to rest. This decision marked a victory for the Obama campaign, which sued to overturn the restrictions put into place by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.[39]

Previously, early voting had been restored during the last three days before the November 6 election for all Ohio citizens by a federal district court. From there, the decision was appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and finally to the Supreme Court.[40]

U.S. District Court Judge Peter C. Economus said, "This Court notes that restoring in-person early voting to all Ohio voters through the Monday before Election Day does not deprive [military] voters from early voting." He went on to say, "Instead, and more importantly, it places all Ohio voters on equal standing."[40]

The lawsuit was filed in response to a directive which allowed certain individuals, specifically military personnel and their families, to vote in the three days preceding the election, while disallowing all others.[40]

See also: Voting in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is one of 34 states that have early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting is held on the Thursday and Friday (and Saturday for state and federal elections only) immediately preceding Election Day.[41] The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

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.[42]

See also: Voting in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is one of 14 states that do not have any form of early voting.[43]

See also: Voting in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is one of 14 states that do not have any form of early voting.[44]

See also: Voting in South Carolina

South Carolina is one of eight states that allow early voting but require an excuse to vote early. Early voting begins as soon as ballots become available and ends at 5 p.m. the day prior to Election Day. To vote early you need to provide an excuse for why you will be unable to vote at the polls during normal voting hours. Those who qualify for an absentee ballot also qualify to vote early.[11][45]

See also: Voting in South Dakota

South Dakota is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Completed ballots must be returned to the county election official by close of polls on Election Day.[46]

See also: Voting in Tennessee

Tennessee is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins 20 days before Election Day and ends five days prior.[47] The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

See also: Voting in Texas

Texas is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins the 17th day before an election and ends on the fourth day prior to Election Day.[6] The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

See also: Voting in Utah

Utah is one of 34 states that have early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins 14 days before an election and ends the Friday prior to Election Day.[48][49] The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

See also: Voting in Vermont

Vermont is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins 45 days before an election and ends on the day prior to Election Day.[50] The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

See also: Voting in Virginia

Virginia is one of fourteen states that do not allow early voting. Although it is not technically considered early voting, Virginians may submit an absentee ballot in-person, serving the same purpose as early voting.[51][52]

See also: Voting in Washington

Washington is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins 18 days before an election and ends on the day prior to Election Day. The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

See also: Voting in West Virginia

West Virginia is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins 13 days before an election and ends three days prior to Election Day.[53] The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

See also: Voting in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting runs for two weeks before an election, ending at 5 p.m. or close of business (whichever is later) on the Friday before the election.[54] The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

2014 developments

In March 2014, Governor Scott Walker applied a partial veto to a bill altering the state's early voting procedures. The legislation as passed restricted early voting hours in several cities to 45 hours per week. Walker vetoed this provision, but he left in place a provision prohibiting early voting on weekends. Democrats alleged that the restrictions placed an undue burden on minorities, veterans, the elderly and students. Republicans maintained that the changes were necessary to ensure uniformity in procedures between urban and rural locations, arguing that rural election officials often lack the resources needed to maintain the same early voting hours that cities can offer.[55]

See also: Voting in Wyoming

Wyoming is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins 40 days before an election and ends on Election Day.[56] The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

References

  1. State of Alaska Division of Elections, "Absentee Early and In-person Voting," accessed December 18, 2013
  2. Long Distance Voter, "Early Voting Rules: Arizona," accessed December 18, 2013
  3. Arkansas Secretary of State, "Voting in Arkansas," accessed December 18, 2013
  4. Long Distance Voter, "Early Voting Rules: Colorado," accessed December 18, 2013
  5. Long Distance Voter, "Early Voting Rules: Connecticut," accessed December 18, 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Long Distance Voter, "Early Voting Rules: Delaware," accessed December 18, 2013
  7. Florida Division of Elections Website, "Early Voting," accessed December 18, 2013
  8. Miami Herald, "Election supervisors want up to 14 early voting days," January 10, 2012
  9. Reuters, "Florida restores early voting days, moves back primary," May 3, 2013
  10. The New York Times, "Court Approves Schedule for Florida Early Voting," September 13, 2012
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Georgia Secretary of State, "Voting Information," accessed December 18, 2013
  12. Long Distance Voter, "Early Voting Rules: Hawaii," accessed December 18, 2013
  13. Long Distance Voter, "Early Voting Rules: Idaho," accessed December 18, 2013
  14. Illinois State Board of Elections, "Early Voting Brochure," accessed December 18, 2013
  15. Long Distance Voter, "Early Voting Rules: Indiana," accessed December 19, 2013
  16. Iowa Secretary of State Website, "Absentee Voting in Person," accessed December 19, 2013
  17. Kansas Secretary of State Website, "Advance Voting," accessed December 19, 2013
  18. Louisiana Secretary of State Website, "Early Voting, In Person," accessed December 19, 2013
  19. Long Distance Voter, "Early Voting Rules: Maine," accessed December 19, 2013
  20. Maryland State Board of Elections Website, "Early Voting," accessed December 19, 2013
  21. MassLive, "Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signs early voting into law," May 22, 2014
  22. Michigan Department of State Website, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed December 19, 2013
  23. 23.0 23.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  24. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "Absentee and Early Voting," accessed December 19, 2013
  25. Long Distance Voter, "Missouri Absentee Ballot Guide," accessed December 19, 2013
  26. Columbia Missourian, "Mo. panel publishes early voting recommendations," February 28, 2013
  27. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named dj
  28. Montana Secretary of State, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed December 16, 2013
  29. Rock the Vote "Where Can I Vote in Nevada?" accessed December 16, 2013
  30. Nevada Secretary of State "Early Voting Information," accessed December 16, 2013
  31. National Conference of State Legislatures, "Absentee and Early Voting," accessed December 16, 2013
  32. National Conference of State Legislatures "Absentee and Early Voting," accessed December 16, 2013
  33. National Conference of State Legislatures "Absentee and Early Voting," accessed December 16, 2013
  34. North Carolina State Board of Elections "Absentee Voting," accessed January 20, 2015
  35. North Dakota Century Code, "16.1-07-15," accessed December 16, 2013
  36. Ohio Secretary of State, "Voting Early in Person," accessed December 16, 2013
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 The Columbus Dispatch, "Kasich signs both elections bills; 'livid' FitzGerald may take action," accessed February 22, 2014
  38. Election Law Blog, "United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division - Case No. 2:14CV-404," accessed May 1, 2014
  39. The New York Times, "Justices Clear the Way for Early Voting in Ohio," accessed October 16, 2012
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 Governing, "Early Voting Restored in Ohio," accessed September 4, 2012
  41. Oklahoma State Election Board, "Early Voting," accessed December 16, 2013
  42. Oregon Secretary of State, "Learn About Vote by Mail," accessed December 16, 2013
  43. National Conference of State Legislatures, "Absentee and Early Voting," accessed December 16, 2013
  44. National Conference of State Legislatures "Absentee and Early Voting," accessed December 16, 2013
  45. Long Distance Voter, "Early Voting Rules," accessed December 16, 2013
  46. Rock the Vote, "South Dakota Election Information," accessed January 26, 2015
  47. Tennessee Secretary of State, "Early Voting," accessed December 16, 2013
  48. Long Distance Voter, "Early Voting Rules," accessed December 16, 2013
  49. Utah Code, "Title 20A, Chapter 3, Section 601," accessed December 16, 2013
  50. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named absenteevt
  51. Long Distance Voter, "Early Voting Rules," accessed December 16, 2013
  52. National Conference of State Legislatures, "Absentee and Early Voting," accessed December 16, 2013
  53. West Virginia Secretary of State, "Early voting and absentee voting," accessed January 22, 2015
  54. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named absenteeWI
  55. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Scott Walker signs early-voting bill; partial veto extends voting hours," March 27, 2014
  56. Long Distance Voter, "Early Voting Calendar," accessed January 27, 2015