2020·3 min read

2018 Midterms FAQs

Sep 17, 2018

Let's start at the very beginning...what exactly are the midterms?

What if I can't vote in person?

How does that work?

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.


In-person absentee

...some states let you apply, fill out, and submit your absentee ballot in person before Election Day.


Permanent absentee

...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.

What's a valid excuse for a state that requires one?

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,

see this


Does it work like an in-person ballot?

Yup. You get to vote for the same candidates you would if you were at the polls on Election Day.

How do I request one?


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.

Find out yours here


How do I vote if I'm living abroad?

There’s a special process for how to get it if you’re overseas. Go here.

What is my absentee ballot deadline?

You can check all of your state-specific deadlines on our No Excuses site. Just choose your state from the drop down menu here.

You mentioned early voting...

Yup. Some states let you cast your ballot in person before Election Day. Wanna know if this is an option in your state?

We got you


My address/name has changed. Do I need to re-register/update my info?

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’

How do I switch political parties?

Can I register without a driver’s license?

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