Voting in 2020 has become a hot issue on the national stage, but fear not! There are many voting options available for the General Election on November 3, 2020. To help you find your options, below is an alphabetical list of every state’s regulations for voting with alternatives where available for voting by mail and links to the election council’s website for further information. Below each state’s policy is a quote from their sites detailing how to return your ballot in in-person options.
To quickly run through these options:
- Some states offer in-person Early Voting. This means that you might be able to go to your local county clerk’s office to vote in-person during the voting period. This option allows for shorter lines at the polls and a safer option during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Some states offer hand-delivery of your Absentee or vote-by-mail ballot. This option also allows for a safer option than arriving at a busy polling place on Election Day, also offering you more time to vote if you are working on November 3, 2020.
- Some states automatically send vote-by-mail ballots in September, offering you solace in mailing your ballot back with many weeks before Election Day to ensure your vote is counted.
Have a look for your state below to find the best option for you to ensure your vote counts in this historic election.
** Please note: Some states’ election websites are down at the moment or we are waiting for a response from the election office to fill-in the missing information. This article will be updated as more information is made available.
Alabama: Has an Absentee ballot allowance due to Covid-19.
- “An absentee ballot returned by mail must be postmarked no later than the day prior to the election and received by the Absentee Election Manager no later than noon on election day. If hand-delivered, the ballot must be in the office of the Absentee Election Manager by the close of business (but no later than 5 p.m.) on the day prior to the election.”
Alaska: All registered voters may request an Absentee ballot.
- “Mail your ballot. It must be postmarked on or before Election Day.”
Arizona: Permanent Early Voting List or One-Time Ballot-by-mail.
- “Drop off your ballot: You may drop off your ballot at any ballot drop-box, drop-off location, Early Voting location, or Election Day voting location in your county on or before Election Day. Find all voting and drop off locations on your county’s website. Ballots must be received by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.”
Arkansas: Has an Absentee ballot allowance due to Covid-19.
- “Deadline for Delivery of Voted Ballot to County Clerk:
- In Person: by close of business the day BEFORE the election
- By Designated Bearer: by 7:30 p.m. ON Election Day
- By Mail: received at clerks office by 7:30 p.m. ON Election Day
- You may NOT fax or email a ballot. UOCAVA voters must vote their ballot by Election Day, and it must be received by their county clerk by 5:00p.m. 10 days after the election.
- By Authorized Agent: by 7:30 p.m. ON Election Day”
California: All registered voters will automatically receive a vote-by-mail ballot.
“You may return your voted ballot by
1. Mailing it to your county elections official;
- Vote-by-mail ballots that are mailed must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county elections office no later than 17 days after Election Day.
- If you are not sure your vote-by-mail ballot will arrive in time if mailed, bring it to any polling place in the state between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
2. Returning it in person to a polling place or the office of your county elections official;
- Vote-by-mail ballots that are personally delivered must be delivered no later than the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
3. Dropping your ballot into one of your county’s ballot drop boxes; or
- Vote-by-mail ballots that are personally delivered to a ballot drop-off location must be delivered no later than the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
4. Authorizing someone to return the ballot on your behalf.
- Anyone may return your ballot for you, as long as they do not get paid on a per ballot basis. In order for your ballot to be counted, you must fill out the authorization section found on the outside of your ballot envelope.”
Colorado: All registered voters will automatically receive a mail ballot.
- “Every valid mail ballot is counted. Be sure to sign the envelope when you return your mail ballot. Your county clerk must receive your ballot no later than 7:00 PM on Election Day. If you are not sure if your ballot will arrive in time, drop it off in person. Contact your county clerk and recorder for drop-off and drop-box locations.”
Connecticut: Has an Absentee ballot allowance due to Covid-19.
- “Complete the ballot, carefully following the instructions that are included and return it by mail or in person.”
Delaware: Offers vote by mail ballot by request
- “For the rest of this election season, any registered voter may request to receive a vote by mail ballot (no excuse) by submitting a request using our online voter portal: https://ivote.de.gov/VoterView or by using the attached application. You may return your ballot to the Dept. of Elections office in the county where you live between the hours of 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, where there will be secure drop off boxes. You may return a voted ballot for someone else. The ballot can be returned any time after receiving it.”
Florida: Anyone can request a vote-by-mail ballot.
- “Vote-by-mail ballots may also be returned at secure drop boxes at Supervisor of Elections’ main and branch offices and Early Voting sites in your county. Please contact your Supervisor of Elections or visit their website for the location of all vote-by-mail ballot secure drop boxes in the county.”
Georgia: No excuse is required to vote before Election Day.
- “Absentee ballot applications can be returned by mail, fax, email (as an attachment), or in-person to the local County Board of Registrar’s Office.
- ABSENTEE VOTING IN-PERSON
- Georgia law provides three weeks of in-person Early Voting in regularly scheduled primaries and elections. Click here for Early Voting locations and times in your county.”
Hawaii: “All properly registered voters will automatically receive a mail ballot packet approximately 18 days prior to the election.”
- Returning Your Ballot: Voters may return their ballot by mail or in-person at a designated place of deposit. Voted ballots must be received by the Clerk’s Office by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.
- By mail: Voters should mail their voted ballot 3-5 days before the election to ensure that the Clerk’s Office receives it by the deadline. The return envelope is postage paid via the U.S. Postal Service and addressed to your Clerk’s Office.
- Voter Service Center or Place of Deposit: Voters may visit any voter service center or place of deposit within their county to drop off their voted ballot.
- Clerk’s Office: Voters may return their voted ballot directly to their Clerk’s Office.
- Visit the Voter Service Centers and Places of Deposit page for locations and hours.
Idaho: To be added
Illinois: Anyone can apply for a mail ballot.
- “A voter may authorize any person to return their ballot to the election authority, as long as the voter has signed the affidavit on the ballot envelope affirming that authorization was given to deliver the ballot.”
Indiana: Very strict vote-by-mail regulations, but they do have early in-person voting.
- “IN-PERSON ABSENTEE VOTING
- State law requires counties to make in-person absentee voting available for 28-days before the election, ending a noon (local prevailing time), the date before the election. In addition, all Indiana counties must make in-person absentee voting available the two Saturdays immediately before the election.
- For the November 3, 2020 election, in-person absentee voting begins Tuesday, October 6, 2020 and ends, noon (local prevailing time), November 2, 2020. Every county must also have in-person absentee available Saturday, October 24, 2020, and Saturday, October 31, 2020, for at least seven (7) hours unless the county’s population is less than 20,000, and then the site can be open for a minimum of four (4) hours.”
Iowa: Has specific Absentee ballot regulations, but also provides absentee voting in person.
- “For primary and general elections, Absentee ballots will be available no earlier than 29 days at the county auditors’ offices. For all other elections, ballots will be available as soon as they are ready, but not sooner than 29 days before an election.”
Kansas: To be added
Kentucky: To be added
Louisiana: Has restrictions on eligibility to vote-by-mail, but does have Early Voting in person options.
- You do not need a reason to vote early! All voters may vote early, just like they are voting on Election Day. Voters who want to vote early for any election may do so in person at their parish Registrar of Voters Office or at designated locations in the parish from 14 to seven days prior to any scheduled election. When one or more state holidays fall within an Early Voting period, the first day for Early Voting will begin 15 days prior to the election. Refer to the schedule below for Early Voting time periods for upcoming elections and refer to the schedule of elections for future time periods.
- For a detailed list of Early Voting locations in your parish, login to the voter portal. For a complete list of Early Voting locations for the entire state, please refer to Early Voting locations.
- The registrars of voters will open their offices from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. for each day of Early Voting. When you go to cast your vote early, you will be asked to identify yourself with either a photo ID or signature on a voter affidavit. You may use a Louisiana driver’s license, a Louisiana special identification card, a United States military identification card that contains the applicant’s name and picture or other generally recognized picture identification card that has your name and signature. You may wish to contact your local Registrar of Voters Office for specific locations, dates and times.”
Maine: All registered voters may request an Absentee ballot or vote in person at the county clerk’s office.
- “You may vote absentee at the clerk’s office as soon as Absentee ballots are available. Absentee ballots are available at least 30 days before the election at the municipal clerk’s office. You don’t need to complete an application if you vote in person at the clerk’s office. The deadline for absentee voting in the presence of the clerk, unless special circumstances exist, is the Thursday before the election.”
Maryland: All registered voters may request a mail-in ballot.
– “You must mail or hand deliver your voted ballot. You cannot submit your voted ballot online, by email or fax.
– 2020 Presidential General Election
- Use the envelope provided with your ballot. You can:
- Hand deliver your ballot. You must deliver it to your local board of elections by 8 pm on Election Day, or you may take it to an Early Voting center or a polling place by the time the polls close.
- Mail your ballot. If you mail your voted ballot, make sure that the envelope is postmarked on or before general Election Day (November 3, 2020). Your voted ballot must be received by your local board of elections by 10 am on November 13, 2020.
- Drop your ballot at a ballot drop off box. The list of ballot drop off boxes for the general election will be listed here as soon as it is available.”
Massachusetts: All registered voters may request a mail-in ballot for 2020 General Election without an excuse.
- “You can return you ballot by mail or in person. If you are mailing your ballot, use the return envelope that was provided with the ballot, which is pre-addressed and pre-stamped for your convenience. If you are hand-delivering your ballot, you can drop it off at your local election office or in an official ballot return drop-box. Contact your local election office for the location of their secure drop-box.”
Michigan: All registered voters may request a mail-in ballot.
- “Only you, a family member or person residing in your household, a mail carrier, or election official is authorized to deliver your signed absent voter ballot to your clerk’s office.”
Minnesota: Anyone can request a mail-in ballot (un-registered voters require a witness).
– “Returning your ballot by mail
- It must be postmarked on or before Election Day (November 3, 2020) and received by your county within the next seven calendar days (November 10). Return your ballot by mail or package delivery service (such as FedEx or UPS).
– Returning your ballot in person
- You can also return your ballot in person no later than 3 p.m. on Election Day to the election office that sent your ballot. You can drop off ballots for up to three other voters. You will need to show identification with name and signature when returning a ballot for someone else. You may not drop your ballot off at your polling place on Election Day.”
Mississippi: Has restrictions on who may vote early and obtain an Absentee ballot.
- “All eligible absentee voters may cast their ballots in the Circuit Clerk’s office of the county of their residence by completing an Absentee ballot application.
- All eligible voters who cast Absentee ballots in the Circuit Clerk’s office must present an acceptable form of photo ID before being issued an Absentee ballot. After completing the Absentee ballot application and presenting an acceptable form of photo ID, the voter is issued (given) an Absentee ballot to mark in private.”
Missouri: Offer curb-side voting; has some restrictions on who may obtain an Absentee ballot; offers a mail-in ballot due to Covid-19.
- “Curb-side Voting: Voters with limited mobility can vote “curb-side” or outside the polling place. Just go to your polling place and ask someone to go in and ask poll workers to bring a ballot out to you. They should bring you a ballot within a reasonable period of time.”
- “Mail-in ballots must be returned by mail in the provided envelope, with the statement on the envelope signed and witnessed by a notary. In order to be counted, mail-in ballots must be received by the election authority at or before the time fixed by law for the closing of the polls on Election Day (7:00 p.m.).”
- “If you are using the standard absentee ballot, you can return in by mail or drop it off in person at your local election authority’s office.”
Montana: Any registered voter may vote by absentee.
- “Montana does not have true Early Voting, but does have in-person absentee voting that allows electors, as soon as Absentee ballots are available, to receive, mark and submit an Absentee ballot in person at the election office or by mail to the election office. However, ballots are not counted until Election Day. Early-in person absentee voting does not require a reason and starts as soon as ballots are available – by not later than 30 days before an election.”
Nevada: Has an Absentee ballot allowance due to Covid-19, in addition to Early Voting.
- “Early Voting is easy in Nevada and is available to every voter. Voters can vote at any location in their respective county where Early Voting is offered.
- GENERAL ELECTION EARLY VOTING: October 17, 2020 through October 30, 2020”
Nebraska: Anyone may request to vote early.
- “Voting in Person – You can vote early in-person at your county election office for a period prior to an election (30 days prior to a primary or general election and 15 days for all other elections). The day before the election is the last day to vote early in person.”
New Hampshire: Has an Absentee ballot allowance due to Covid-19.
- “Affix postage and mail the larger outer envelope to the clerk in the city or town in which you are entitled to vote OR the voter may personally deliver it or have it delivered by the voter’s “delivery agent.”
- Your ballot must be received by the town or city clerk, no later than 5:00 p.m. on Election Day in order to be submitted for counting.”
New Jersey: Anyone may apply for a mail-in ballot.
- “If returning your Mail-In Ballot in person it must be received by the County Board of Elections before close of polls on Election Day. If returning your Mail-In Ballot by mail, it must be postmarked no later than Election Day and received by the County Board of Elections no later than 48 hours after the time of the closing of the polls for the election.”
New Mexico: Absentee Voter applications open on October 6, 2020. Unclear as to whether there are restrictions but does offer Early Voting option.
- “All Absentee ballots may be returned to the County Clerk’s Office or any Election Day polling location no later than 7:00 PM on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 – Election Day.
- Early Voting locations open in each county beginning on Saturday, October 17, 2020 and continue through Saturday, October 31, 2020. Please check locations and hours of operation by visiting NMVote.org or by contacting your County Clerk’s Office.”
New York: May have an Absentee ballot allowance due to Covid-19; does offer Early Voting.
- “General Election – November 3, 2020 – The Early Voting period for the November General Election will be October 24, 2020- November 1, 2020.”
North Carolina: All registered voters may request an Absentee ballot in 2020. Require a witness to Absentee applications.
- For civilian absentee voters, once the Absentee Application and Certificate is completed with all relevant signatures, the voted ballot (placed inside the container-return envelope) must be returned to the county board of elections no later than 5 p.m. on Election Day.
- Absentee ballots received after 5 p.m. on Election Day will be timely only if they are received by mail no later than 5 p.m. on the third day following the date of the election, and postmarked on or before Election Day.
- The envelope may be mailed or delivered in person to the county board of elections office or an open Early Voting site during the Early Voting period.
North Dakota: All registered voters may apply for an Absentee ballot without restriction.
- “Absentee ballot applications are to be delivered to the appropriate election official by mail, in person, by fax, or as a scanned attachment to an email.”
Ohio: All registered voters may apply for an Absentee ballot without restriction; also offers Early Voting.
– “In Ohio, voters have many options to vote. Starting the day after the close of voter registration, all registered voters may request and vote an Absentee ballot in person at their county board of elections or Early Voting center as designated by the county.
– Most Ohio counties provide Early Voting at their board of elections office. However, the following counties have separate Early Voting centers:
- Lucas: Ohio Means Jobs Building, 1301 Monroe Street, Toledo Ohio 43604
- Miami: Hobart Center for County Government, 510 West Water Street, Troy Ohio 45373
- Summit: SCBOE Early Vote Center, 500 Grant Street, Akron Ohio 44311”
Oklahoma: To be added
Oregon: All registered voters automatically receive a vote-by-mail ballot.
- Voters also receive an official ballot to complete and insert into the security envelope which is placed in the ballot return envelope and signed by the voter. The ballot return envelope can be stamped and mailed or dropped off at any official drop box across the state. If a voter casts their ballot after the Wednesday before an election, the ballot should be left at a drop box site to ensure it’s counted.
- Ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Pennsylvania: Click the link for full details
Rhode Island: All registered votes may request a mail ballot without specific reasoning.
- “In person Emergency Ballots will now be voted and inserted into the voting machine at the Board of Canvassers. The process now requires emergency voters to check in on the electronic poll book using an acceptable form of photo ID. The voter then completes their ballot and casts it in the DS 200. These ballots will be tabulated on election night at 8:00 p.m. when polls close.
- All mail ballots must be received by the State Board of Elections at 2000 Plainfield Pike STE A Cranston, R.I. 02921 by 8:00 P.M. the night of the election.”
South Carolina: Has restrictions on who may apply for an Absentee ballot but does offer in-person Absentee voting.
- “Vote and return the ballot to your county voter registration office by 7:00 p.m. on the day of the election either by mail or personal delivery. Place the ballot in the “ballot here-in” envelope and place the “ballot here-in” envelope in the return envelope. Be sure to sign the voter’s oath and have your signature witnessed. Anyone can witness your signature. A notary is not necessary. “
South Dakota: Has an Absentee ballot allowance due to Covid-19.
- “Registered voters can vote in-person once Absentee Voting begins at their County Auditor’s office by bringing along a valid photo identification card (ID). If a voter does not have a photo ID, they must be given the option to sign a personal identification affidavit and vote a regular ballot.”
- “Your voted ballot MUST be received by your County Election Official on Election Day in enough time to deliver your ballot to your voting precinct before the polls close.”
Tennessee: Has some restrictions on who may request an Absentee ballot and must be returned by post.
- “No [you may not return your ballot in person]. You must return your ballot by mail (USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc.).”
Texas: Has restrictions on who may request an Absentee ballot; does offer Early Voting.
- “Any registered voter may vote early by personal appearance (in person). Early Voting by personal appearance for the November 3, 2020 Election begins on October 13, 2020 and ends on October 30, 2020. You may vote at any Early Voting location in your county of registration.”
Utah: All registered voters automatically receive a vote-by-mail ballot.
- “Your mail ballot must be postmarked by the U.S. Post Office the day before Election Day, November 2, 2020. You can also drop your ballot off at a drop box location before 8:00 pm on Election Day. Find drop box locations near you.”
Vermont: All registered voters may request a mail-in ballot; also offers in-person Early Voting.
- “When a voter goes to the town clerk’s office to vote early, the voter is given the Absentee ballots and envelopes and is provided a private place to mark the ballots. The voter must then seal the ballots in the envelope, sign the certificate, and return the ballots in the sealed envelope to the town clerk or an assistant town clerk. A voter may also take the ballots and return them to the town clerk before the end of Election Day. No person, except justices of the peace, may take any ballot from the town clerk on behalf of any other person.
- Early or absentee voter ballots must be returned to the town clerk’s office before the close of business on the day before the election (be sure to check your town clerk’s hours) or to the polling place by 7 p.m. on Election Day. The ballots may be returned by mail or in person, unless the ballots were delivered by justices of the peace who would then return them to the town clerk.”
Virginia: Anyone may request an Absentee ballot; also offers Early Voting in-person.
- “You can vote early at your local registrar’s office beginning 45 days before Election Day and ending the Saturday before Election Day.”
- “If you are returning your ballot by-mail, it must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your registrar by noon on the third day after the election.”
Washington: Anyone may apply for a mail-in ballot; also offers Early Voting in-person.
- “Your ballot must be postmarked no later than Election Day or returned to a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day.”
- “Each county opens a voting center prior to each primary, special election, and general election. Each voting center is open during business hours during the voting period, which begins eighteen days before, and ends at 8:00 p.m. on the day of, the primary, special election, or general election. You can locate your nearest voting center by logging into VoteWA.gov or contacting your county’s elections department.”
West Virginia: Has an Absentee ballot allowance due to Covid-19.
- “For hand-delivery, absentee ballots must be delivered to the County Clerk’s office by the day before Election Day. Although voters do not have to personally return his or her absentee ballot, no one person may deliver more than two voters’ absentee ballots.”
Wisconsin: All registered voters may request an Absentee ballot; also offers Early Voting in-person.
- “Your completed absentee ballot must be delivered no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day. The U.S. Postal Service recommends absentee ballots be mailed one week before Election Day to arrive in time.
- You can also vote absentee at your local municipal clerk’s office. If you apply for an absentee ballot in your municipal clerk’s office, or another designated location for in-person absentee voting, you will vote your ballot immediately in the clerk’s office, seal your ballot in the proper envelope, and return it to a member of the clerk’s staff. No ballots may be taken out of the clerk’s office. “
Wyoming: All registered voters may request and Absentee ballot.
- “In Person – Bring your completed absentee ballot in the signed envelope to your county clerk’s office.
- By Mail – Mail your completed absentee ballot in the provided envelope to your county clerk’s office. (Mail delivery within the county may take up to seven (7) days, and longer if you’re mailing your ballot from outside the county.)”
Washington, D.C.: All registered voters will automatically receive a mail-in ballot in October.
- Instructions on how to vote and return your ballot will be included along with your ballot. Your voted and mailed ballot must be postmarked or otherwise demonstrated to have been sent on or before Election Day and must arrive no later than the 7th day after Election Day.
American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands: U.S. Territories can only vote in the Presidential Primaries, which have passed. If you hate this as much as we do, write to your representative about why we fought a revolution, i.e. “no taxation without representation” to advocate for all American citizens’ right to vote.