Absentee Voting Rules

Alabama

Voters can only vote absentee in Alabama with an approved excuse.

Alaska

No excuse is needed to vote by mail in Alaska.

Arizona

No excuse is needed to vote by mail in Arizona.

Arkansas

Voters can only vote absentee in Arkansas with an approved excuse.

California

No excuse is needed to vote by mail in California. 

California counties that have decided to adopt the California Voter’s Choice Act use a vote-by-mail system for all elections, meaning that every registered receives a ballot in the mail 28 days before Election Day. As of 2020, these counties are: Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sacramento, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Tuolumne.

Colorado

Colorado uses a vote-by-mail system for all elections, meaning that every active voter registered in advance receives a mail ballot. If you are an inactive voter, the county has sent a ballot to your address and it bounced back because you no longer live at that location. To correct this you have to go online or to the county’s office to input your new address. The ballot will be sent to the mailing address you provided for your voter registration file. If you prefer to vote at the polls, you can vote in-person at a voter service and polling center.

Connecticut

Voters can only vote absentee in Connecticut with an approved excuse.

Delaware

Voters can only vote absentee in Delaware with an approved excuse.

District of Columbia

No excuse is needed to vote absentee in D.C.

Florida

No excuse is needed to vote by mail in Florida.

Georgia

No excuse is needed to vote absentee in Georgia.

Hawaii

As of 2020, Hawaii uses a vote by mail system for all elections, meaning that all registered voters will automatically receive ballots in the mail. If you prefer to vote in person, you can visit a voter service center.

Idaho

No excuse is needed to vote absentee in Idaho.

Illinois

No excuse is needed to vote by mail in Illinois.

Indiana

Voters can only vote absentee-by-mail in Indiana with an approved excuse.

Iowa

No excuse is needed to vote absentee in Iowa.

Kansas

No excuse is needed to vote by mail in Kansas.

Kentucky

Voters can only vote absentee in Kentucky with an approved excuse.

Louisiana

Voters can only vote by mail in Louisiana with an approved excuse.

Maine

No excuse is needed to vote absentee in Maine.

Maryland

No excuse is needed to vote absentee in Maryland.

Massachusetts

Voters can only vote absentee in Massachusetts with an approved excuse.

Michigan

No excuse is needed to vote absentee in Michigan.

Minnesota

No excuse is needed to vote absentee in Minnesota.

Mississippi

Voters can only vote absentee in Mississippi with an approved excuse.

Missouri

Voters can only vote absentee in Missouri with an approved excuse.

Montana

No excuse is needed to vote absentee in Montana.

Nebraska

No excuse is needed to vote absentee in Nebraska.

Nevada

No excuse is needed to vote absentee in Nevada.

New Hampshire

Voters can only vote absentee in New Hampshire with an approved excuse.

New Jersey

No excuse is needed to vote by mail in New Jersey.

New Mexico

No excuse is needed to vote absentee in New Mexico.

New York

Voters can only vote absentee in New York with an approved excuse.

North Carolina

No excuse is needed to vote absentee in North Carolina.

North Dakota

Certain counties in North Dakota are vote-by-mail, in which case a blank ballot is automatically sent to voters 40-50 days before the election. In counties that are not vote-by-mail, you must apply for an absentee ballot. No excuse is needed to vote absentee in North Dakota.

Ohio

No excuse is needed to vote absentee in Ohio.

Oklahoma

No excuse is needed to vote absentee in Oklahoma.

Oregon

Oregon uses a vote-by-mail for all elections, meaning that all registered voters will automatically be sent ballots in the mail two to three weeks before an election.

Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, you have two options for mail ballots. You may either choose a mail-in ballot or an absentee ballot to request, complete, and return to your county election office.

  • Absentee ballot – If you plan to be out of the municipality on election day or if you have a disability or illness, you should request this ballot type, which still requires you to list a reason for your ballot.
  • Mail-in ballot – If you aren’t an absentee voter, you may apply for a mail-in ballot. You may simply request this ballot without a reason.

Rhode Island

No excuse is needed to vote by mail in Rhode Island.

South Carolina

Voters can only vote absentee in South Carolina with an approved excuse.

South Dakota

No excuse is needed to vote absentee in South Dakota.

Tennessee

Voters can only vote absentee in Tennessee with an approved excuse.

Texas

Voters can only vote by mail in Texas with an approved excuse.

Utah

As of 2020, all counties in Utah will conduct vote by mail elections. Registered voters will automatically receive a ballot in the mail.

Vermont

No excuse is needed to vote absentee in Vermont.

Virginia

Voters can only vote absentee in Virginia with an approved excuse.

Washington

Washington uses a vote-by-mail system for all elections, meaning all registered voters will automatically receive a ballot in the mail at least 18 days before each election. If you prefer to vote in person, each county opens a voting center prior to each primary, special election, and general election.

West Virginia

Voters can only vote absentee/by mail in West Virginia with an approved excuse.

Wisconsin

No excuse is needed to vote absentee in Wisconsin.

Wyoming

No excuse is needed to vote absentee in Wyoming.