With the COVID-19 pandemic dominating the news cycle, it can be easy to forget that 2020 is an election year. (Okay, maybe not easy, but at least possible.) The following information (accurate as of May 4, 2020) outlines which states allow for some form of alternative voting.
Absentee Voting Laws
- 34 states offer “no-excuse” absentee ballots, and will mail residents an early ballot upon request: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. You can request your absentee ballot online by visiting absentee.vote.org, and filling out a short request form.
- Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington send ballots to all eligible voters, so residents do not need to request one.
- All states permit residents who will be outside their home county to vote absentee, as well as voters with an illness or disability. Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia also offer the option to elderly voters.
Early In-Person Voting Laws
- 39 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the Virgin Islands offer the option to vote early and in-person. Only Alabama, Connecticut, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, do not offer early voting.
- Early voting periods range in length from four days to 45 days; the average length is 19 days. Visit vote.org for your specific county’s laws.