Important Information! Pre-Election Day and Absentee Voting by Mail Rules

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Mon, 01/14/2008 - 1:26pm.

Anyone planning to vote early or by absentee ballot, this is important information.  Not all states play by the same rules.  It's wise to find out now how these rules apply to you.  ~  SadInAmerica

31 states allow no-excuse pre-Election Day in-person voting - either early voting on a voting machine or in-person absentee voting. (AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MT, NE, NV, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, WV, WI, WY)
3 states and the District of Columbia require an excuse for in-person absentee voting. (DC, KY, MN, VA)
1 state is all vote-by mail. (OR)
15 states do not allow early or in-person absentee voting. (AL, CT, DE, MD, MA, MI, MS, MO, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, WA - in Washington, 36 of 39 counties have vote by mail )
29 states allow no-excuse absentee voting by mail. (AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, FL, GA, HI, ID, IA, KS, ME, MD, MT, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, SD, UT, VT, WA, WI, WY)
21 states and the District of Columbia require an excuse to vote absentee by mail. (AL, CT, DE, DC, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NH, NY, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV)

Note: Last updated 10/22/07 with clarification of information about Arkansas early and absentee voting.

 


State Pre-Election Day In-Person Voting Absentee Voting
Alabama No. In-person absentee voting repealed in 2001. Excuse required. Source: Secretary of State Web site and Code of Alabama Section 17-11-3
Alaska Yes. In-person absentee voting. No excuse required. 15 days prior to an election through election day at regional election office buildings and airports. Source: Alaska Division of Elections Web site and Alaska Statute 15.20.061 No excuse required. Source: Alaska Statute 15.20.010  
Arizona Yes. Early voting. No excuse required. For general and primary elections, starts 33 days before election day and ends 5pm the Friday before election day. For the presidential preference election, starts 26 days before the election. Source: Arizona Secretary of State Web site No excuse required. Source: Arizona Revised Statutes 16-541(A) 
Arkansas Yes. Early voting. No excuse required. Early voting shall be available to any qualified elector who applies to the county clerk's designated early voting location, beginning fifteen (15) days before a preferential primary, general primary, general election, or general run-off election between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday and ending at 5:00 p.m. on the Monday before the election. Ark. Code Ann. 7-5-418 and Arkansas  Secretary of State Web site No excuse required.
To be qualified to vote an absentee ballot, you must meet one of the following criteria: You will be unavoidably absent from your polling site on election day (the law does not require you to give a reason), or you will be unable to attend the polls on election day because of illness or physical disability. 
Source: Arkansas  Secretary of State Web site and Absentee Balloting Site
California Yes. Early voting. No excuse required. Starting 29 days prior to election. Source: Calif. Election Code 3018 No excuse required. Source: Calif. Election Code 3003 and secretary of state Web site
Colorado Yes. Early voting. No excuse required. Starting 15 days prior to general election.  Source: Colo. Rev. Stat. 1-8-202 No excuse required. Source: Colo. Rev. Stat. 1-8-102
Connecticut No.   Excuse required.  Source: Conn. Election Code 9-135 and secretary of state Web site
Delaware No.   Excuse required.  Source: Delaware Code 5502 and commissioner of elections Web site
District of Columbia Yes. In-person absentee voting. Excuse required. Source: DC Board of Elections and Ethics Web site Excuse required. Source: D.C. Code Ann. 1-1001.09 (b)(2)
Florida Yes. Early voting. No excuse required.   Begins 15 days prior to election. Source: Fla. Stat. Title 9 Chapter 101.657  For additional information, see the secretary of state's Web site. No excuse required. Source: Secretary of state Web site
Georgia Yes. Advance voting. No excuse required. An elector who casts an absentee ballot in person at the registrar's office or absentee ballot clerk's office during the period of Monday through Friday of the week immediately preceding the date of a primary, election, or run-off primary or election shall not be required to provide a reason as identified in subsection (a) of this Code section in order to cast an absentee ballot in such primary, election, or run-off primary or election. Source: Ga. Code 21 - 2-380(b) No excuse required. Source: Ga. Code 21-2-381
Hawaii Yes. In-person absentee voting. No excuse required. The absentee polling places shall be open no later than ten working days before election day, and all Saturdays falling within that time period, or as soon thereafter as ballots are available. Source: Hi. Code 15-7 No excuse required. Source: Hi. Code 15-4(a)
Idaho Yes. In-person absentee voting. No excuse required. Source: Idaho Statutes 34-1006 No excuse required Source: Idaho Statutes 34-1001
Illinois

Yes. Early voting. No excuse required. The period for early voting by personal appearance begins the 22nd day preceding a general primary, consolidated primary, consolidated, or general election and extends through the 5th day before election day. A permanent polling place for early voting must remain open during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., on weekdays and 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. Source: 10 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/19A-15

Excuse required.  Source: 10 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/19-1
Indiana Yes. In-person absentee voting. No excuse required. The voter may vote before the board not more than twenty-nine (29) days nor later than noon on the day before election day. Source: IC 3-11-10-26  Excuse required.  Source: IC 3-11-10-24
Iowa Yes. In-person absentee voting. No excuse required. Not more than forty days before the date of the primary election or the general election, the commissioner shall provide facilities for absentee voting in person at the commissioner's office. Source: Iowa Code, Title 2, Chapter 53.10 No excuse required.  Source: Iowa Code, Title 2, Chapter 53.1
Kansas Yes. Advance voting. No excuse required. Source: Kan. Stat. 25 - 1122a You may vote in person in the county election office starting the Tuesday before election day, or up to 20 days before the election, depending on the county. Source: Kansas Secretary of State Web site No excuse required. Source: Kan. Stat. 25-1119
Kentucky Yes. In-person absentee voting. Excuse required. Absentee voting shall be conducted in the county clerk's office or other place designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections during normal business hours for at least the twelve (12) working days before the election. A county board of elections may permit absentee voting to be conducted on a voting machine for a period longer than the twelve (12) working days before the election. Source: Ky. Rev.  Stat. 117.085(c) Excuse required. Source: Ky. Rev.  Stat. 117.085(a) and Ky. Rev. Stat 117.075
Louisiana Yes. Early voting. No excuse required. The periods for conducting early voting shall be from twelve days to six days prior to any scheduled election. Source: La. Rev. Stat.  18-1309 Excuse required.  Source: La. Rev. Stat. 18-303(B)
Maine Yes. In-person absentee voting. No excuse required. You may go in person to vote at the clerk’s office as soon as absentee ballots are available. Absentee ballots are available 30 to 45 days before the election at the municipal clerk’s office.  Source: Maine Rev. Stat. Title 21A 9-753-B(8) No excuse required. Source: Maine Rev. Stat. Title 21A, Chapter 9-751
Maryland No. No-excuse early voting law overturned by court. No excuse required. Source: Maryland Code, Chapter 9-304
Massachusetts No.   Excuse required. Source: M.G.L. Chapter 54, Section 86
Michigan No.  Excuse required.  Source: Michigan Compiled Laws Act 116 of 1954, Secion 168-759
Minnesota Yes. In-person absentee voting. Excuse required. An eligible voter may vote by absentee ballot during the 30 days before the election in the office of the county auditor and at any other polling place designated by the county auditor. Source: Minnesota Statues 203B.081 Excuse required.  Source: Minnesote Stautes 203B.02
Mississippi No.  Excuse required.
Missouri No. Excuse required.  Source: Missouri Rev. Stat. Section 155.277
Montana Yes. In-person absentee voting. No excuse required. Begins 30 days prior to general election. Source: Mont. Code Ann. 13-13-222 No excuse required. Source: Mont. Code Ann. 13-13-201
Nebraska Yes. In-person absentee voting. No excuse required. Source: Neb. Stat. 32 - 942 No excuse required. Source: Neb. Stat. 32-938
Nevada Yes. Early voting. No excuse required. The period for early voting by personal appearance begins the third Saturday preceding a primary or general election and extends through the Friday before election day, Sundays and holidays excepted. Source: Nev. Rev. Stat. 293.356 No excuse required. Source: Secretary of state Web site and Clark County elections Web site
New Hampshire No.  Excuse required. Source: NH Rev. Stat. 657:1
New Jersey No.  No excuse required. Source: New Jersey Statutes 19:57-2-4
New Mexico Yes. Early voting. No excuse required.  Commencing on the third Saturday prior to an election, an absent voter may vote in person, on an electronic voting machine at an alternate location established by the county clerk. Source: N.M. Stat. 1-6-5G No excuse required. Source: N.M. Stat. 1-6-3
New York No.  Excuse required.  Source: N.Y. Stat. 8-400
North Carolina Yes. One-stop absentee voting. No excuse required. Not earlier than the third Thursday before an election, in which absentee ballots are authorized, in which a voter seeks to vote and not later than 1:00 P.M. on the last Saturday before that election, the voter shall appear in person only at the office of the county board of elections, except as provided in subsection (g) of this section. A county board of elections shall conduct one-stop voting on the last Saturday before the election until 1:00 P.M. and may conduct it until 5:00 P.M. on that Saturday. Source: N.C. Gen. Stat. 163-227.2 No excuse required. Source: N.C. Gen. Stat. 163-226a
North Dakota Yes. Early voting. No excuse required. Early voting must be authorized during the fifteen days immediately before the day of the election. The county auditor shall designate the business days and times during which the early voting election precinct will be open and publish notice of the dates and times in the official county newspaper once each week for three consecutive weeks immediately before the day of the election. Source: N.D. Stat. 16.1-07-15 No excuse required. Source: N.D. Stat. 16.1-07-07
Ohio Yes. In-person absentee voting. No excuse required.
Source: Ohio Secretary of State Web site
No excuse required. Source: Ohio Secretary of State Web site
Oklahoma Yes. In-person absentee voting. No excuse required. A registered voter may apply for an in-person absentee ballot at a location designated by the secretary of the county election board from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Monday immediately preceding any election and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday immediately preceding a state or federal election.  Source: Ok. Stat. 26-14-115   No excuse required. Source: Ok. Stat. 26-14-105
Oregon All mail-in voting.  No excuse required. Source: Oregon Stat. 252.020
Pennsylvania No.  Excuse required.   Source: Pennsylvania Department of State Web site
Rhode Island No.  Excuse required.  Source: R.I. Stat. 17-20-2
South Carolina No. Excuse required.  Source: S.C. Code 7-15-320
South Dakota Yes. In-person absentee voting. No excuse required. At anytime prior to an election, a voter may apply in person to the person in charge of the election for an absentee ballot during regular office hours up to 3:00 p.m. of the day of the election. Source: S.D. Code 12-19-2.1 No excuse required. Source: S.D. Code 12-19-1
Tennessee Yes. Early voting. No excuse required. A voter who desires to vote early shall go to the county election commission office within the posted hours not more than twenty (20) days nor less than five (5) days before the day of the election. Source: Tenn. Code 2-6-102 Excuse required. Source: Tenn. Code 2-6-201
Texas Yes. Early voting. No excuse required. Early voting in person starts 17 days before each election unless the first day falls on the weekend, then early voting begins on the following Monday and ends 4 days before each election. Source: Tex. Elec. Code 81.001 Excuse required. Source: Tex. Elec. Code 82.001
Utah Yes. In-person absentee voting. No excuse required. Source: Utah Elec. Code 20A-3-304 No excuse required. Source: Utah Elec. Code 20A-3-301
Vermont Yes. In-person absentee voting. No excuse required. Voting starts 30 days before the primary or general election. Source: Vermont Stat.  17 V.S.A. 2537  No excuse required. Source: Vermont Stat. 17 V.S.A 2531
Virginia Yes. In-person absentee voting. Excuse required. Absentee voting in person begins approximately 45 days before a November General Election and approximately 30 days before other elections and ends at 5:00 p.m. on the Saturday before the election. Source: Va. Code 24.2-707 Excuse required. Source: Va. Code 24.2-700 
Washington No.   No excuse required. Source: R.C.W. 29A.40.010 
West Virginia Yes. Early voting. No excuse required. The regular period of early voting in person begins twenty days before the election and continues until three days before the election.  Source: W.V. Code 3 - 3-1(a)  Excuse required. Source: W.V. Code 3-3-1(b) 
Wisconsin Yes. In-person absentee voting. No excuse required.  Ballots are available 3 weeks ahead of each election and must be received by 5 p.m. the day before an election. No excuse required.   Source: Wi. Code 6.20
Wyoming Yes. In-person absentee voting. No excuse required.   No excuse required. Source: Wyo. Stat. 22-9-202 

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Mon, 01/14/2008 - 1:26pm.