The state you’re registered to vote in will mail you a ballot. You fill it out. And send it back. Easy. Every state offers an absentee ballot, but they all have different rules around it.
Excuse and no-excuse
...some states require you to tell them why you can’t show up on Election Day.
...some states let you apply, fill out, and submit your absentee ballot in person before Election Day.
...some states will automatically send you an absentee ballot for all future elections. Meaning: you don’t need to apply for one after the first time.
...some states mail every registered voter a ballot before Election Day. And you can either send it back in the mail or submit it in person.
Every State has different rules for valid excuses, but here are some examples:
- If you’re a student going to college out-of-state. Study abroad counts too
- If you’re traveling for vacation (oh hey, fall break)
- If you’re sick, injured, or have a disability that prevents you from getting to your polling place
- If you’re a military member, a military member’s spouse, or some other family member stationed outside your voting loc
For a detailed map of the state-by-state rules,
Yup. You get to vote for the same candidates you would if you were at the polls on Election Day.
Once you get your ballot, you’ll want to fill it out and submit it ASAP. It typically needs to be postmarked before Election Day (or dropped off in person by Election Day), but each state has a different deadline.
There’s a special process for how to get it if you’re overseas. Go here.
You can check all of your state-specific deadlines on our No Excuses site. Just choose your state from the drop down menu here.
Yup. Some states let you cast your ballot in person before Election Day. Wanna know if this is an option in your state?
Yes. This process can vary depending on where you live. So double check. If your state says to submit a new voter registration, you can do that through our No Excuses site. Click ‘no’
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