Frequently asked questions
How does voting by mail work?
How does voting by mail work? Great question! Voting by mail means that instead of going to a polling location, a ballot is mailed to you to fill in at your convenience. You can mail it back (often postage paid) or drop it off at a local ballot box. It allows you to vote when you want in advance of election day. It's also known as an "absentee ballot".
Do I have to mail my ballot before Election Day?
It depends on the state. Some allow for very early voting. Others require a postmark by Election Day. Some request
receipt of the ballot (mailed or in an official ballot box) on Election Day. Be sure to check the rules for your state.
Given that it has been documented that the USPS is not delivering mail at regular speeds, IT IS CRITICAL THAT YOU MAIL YOUR BALLOT AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE or
DEPOSIT IT AT AN OFFICIAL COUNTY BALLOT BOX.
I am a living out of my home state where I'm registered. What do I do?
Glad you asked! You’re a perfect candidate for voting by mail. Check whether you are registered to vote on your state’s site to find out the easiest way for you to convert to vote by mail.
I live overseas. Where do I register to vote?
here to complete your voter registration and learn your rules to vote by mail.
I don’t have a printer. How do I print an application to register to vote by mail?
Common problem. Contact a friend with a printer. Have them mail it to you. Both of you register! (This takes time so please plan ahead! November will be around the corner before you know it.) Many states will mail you a request form if you ask. PRO TIP: Click on your state to find the contact information for your Election Office.
Also, for some states, you may be a register with vote.org who can automatically transfer your data. They are also an excellent resource.
If I register to vote by mail, how many elections will this affect?
It depends on your state. With COVID-19, state election rules are changing all the time. Some require a ballot request for each election. Other states support permanent absentee voting or for a fixed period of time, such as one year. Be sure to read your state’s guidelines carefully so that you don’t miss out in November.
Does Voting by Mail favor one political party over another?
Research says that it doesn’t favor a particular party. Voting by mail does make it easier for people to have their voice counted in an election by voting on their schedule.
Why would I Vote by Mail instead of going to a poll?
Well, let’s start with COVID-19. It is possible that in the next 6 months, most poll locations will be closed. (Milwaukee, Wisconsin alone reduced 180 polling locations to 5 in its April 2020 election). This means a health risk to you and your family as well as long lines.
If I Vote by Mail, can I vote at a polling location in the future?
Of course. Simply update your voter registration to make that request whenever you like.
What about voting fraud? How do I know that my ballot will be counted?
Fraud with mail-in ballots is a rare occurrence. Mail your ballot or drop it in a local election drop box to be sure it is counted. Avoid giving your ballot to a third party, if possible. (Most states have signature required for third parties to submit a ballot on your behalf.) Voting fraud is a crime.
Does my vote matter anyway? I’m one person.
Every vote counts. Every single one. In many elections, the winner is decided by less than a few thousand votes. In 2016, there were 100,000,000 eligible voters who did not vote. Think of how 0.01% of votes could have changed the outcome of a local, state, or federal election.
Many decisions about social justice, criminal justice, healthcare and education are made at the state level. Some states elect prosecutors and sheriffs. Your vote matters to shape the people and policies at a local level.
In addition, many people who want to vote may not be able to vote due to voter suppression. Your vote counts.
Do I have to vote for the party I'm registered for?
For a general election, you can vote for whomever you like! For a primary, if you live in a "closed" primary state, then you can only vote for candidates in your party. The general election is in November, so use your voice to vote your choice!
Where do you get your source links?
Our aim is to create the fewest possible clicks to link to the exact place on each state's website to request a mail-in ballot or register to vote. Some states permit mail-in ballot request online. Others may require you to print and mail a form. Please be sure to follow the instructions correctly.
When was the site last updated?
The links are checked on a regular basis for changes to state election websites. This site was last updated on October 13, 2020.
Find an error? Please email us -- firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks in advance!
If someone offers to take my ballot to an election box, what do I do?
Please be sure that YOU mail or personally place your ballot into an authorized election ballot box for your jurisdiction.
Check with your County Election Board or your Municipal Election Official to find a ballot box near you. (Some states delegate election activities to counties; others to cities/towns/municipalities.)
I don't like any of the candidates. Should I vote?
Ballots have more than just candidates for local, state and federal office. Ballots can contain other important measures that affect your community in which you can have a say if you vote. If you care about issues like social justice, criminal, justice, education, and healthcare, voting in your state elections is critical to support candidates that align with your interests.
Also, if you vote by mail, you have time to Google the candidates and issues while you're reviewing your ballot!
Remember: 100,000,000 people did NOT vote in the 2016 election. Think of how their votes could have impacted issues that you care about.
How can I change my address on my voter registration?
Please check your voter registration on the state page to ensure that the correct address is listed. If not, click on Register to Vote and use the state tools to update your address -- most states permit address updates to be submitted online.
If I have already received a Mail-In Ballot for the Primary, do I need to request another one for the November Election?
Great question! It depends on the state.
For example, all-mail states like Oregon, Hawaii, Colorado, Washington, and Utah, automatically send out mail-in ballots.
For other states where you can register to vote by mail permanently, such as Arizona or New Jersey, if you are registered to vote, you will be mailed a ballot.
Find My State page and select your state. Then click on the Mail-In Ballot option to learn about the rules for your state or county.