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Politics Voting By Mail? Here Are the Deadlines in Every U.S. State

00:13  19 september  2020
00:13  19 september  2020 Source:   time.com

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As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the U.S., the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended Americans consider “voting alternatives” this fall to limit potential exposure to the virus. One alternative option is voting by mail, a practice that has been in place since the U.S. Civil War and carries a long history of success.

a group of people sitting in a box: Election workers processing absentee ballots at Milwaukee's central count facility last month. © Will Cioci—Wisconsin Watch/AP Election workers processing absentee ballots at Milwaukee's central count facility last month.

Before the pandemic, five states—Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Utah—already held all-mail elections, meaning every active registered voter automatically received a ballot in the mail that would allow them to bypass a physical polling place. Due to COVID-19, several more states, including California and New Jersey, are adopting this model for the 2020 election. Twenty-nine states and Washington D.C. already allowed for “no excuse” mail-in absentee ballots, meaning voters can request a mail-in ballot without having to meet certain qualifications. And 16 states allowed voters to cast a ballot by mail if they have a specific excuse, like being out of the country or over the age of 65. Several states have also added nervousness about exposure to COVID-19 to their approved list of excuses for the election.

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Mail-in voting has come under increased scrutiny in 2020 following a false claim by President Donald Trump that the “vote by mail” system is prone to fraud. Questions about the practice have also grown as Trump repeatedly claimed that “vote by mail” and “absentee voting” systems are different. Legal and political experts disagree with Trump.

“Before this election, pretty much everybody used these terms interchangeably,” says Richard L. Hasen, a professor of law and political science at University of California, Irvine School of Law and the author of Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy.

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Trump’s recent statements seem to refer to “universal mail-in balloting” as the system in which every registered voter is automatically mailed a ballot, and the term “absentee voting” to refer to systems in which you have to request mail-in ballots, which the President and First Lady have already done in Florida. While Trump has argued “state wide mail-in voting” systems have “tremendous potential for voter fraud,” states that use all-mail balloting systems report very low rates of fraud. Multiple studies have also found little evidence of voter fraud of any kind in the U.S.

If you plan on voting by mail, the first thing you have to do is register to vote. Several states’ deadlines to register are early in October; you can check your registration status (and get registered) via the nonprofit Vote.org.

Once you’re registered, election officials and experts strongly urge you to request your ballot as soon as possible—or return your ballot if you’ve already received it—to ensure it has time to be processed by the Postal Service, whose recent delivery delays have become part of a high-profile political controversy. The process of applying for and filling out a mail-in ballot depends on where you live, so make sure to follow the instructions closely.

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Be sure to note that while many state laws technically allow voters to apply for mail-in ballots until right before the election, the Postal Service recommends voters request their ballots at least 15 days before Nov. 3—which is Election Day—and mail back their ballots at least one week before their state’s deadline for receiving them. (That window does not apply to overseas military personnel.)

Vote by mail deadlines vary state by state, and several could change before Election Day, so make sure to check for the latest information from your local election official. In some states, you don’t need to request a ballot; in others, the deadline is rapidly approaching. In Kentucky, for example, the deadline to request an absentee ballot online is Oct. 9. In some states, your ballot only needs to be postmarked by Election Day to be counted; in others, it must be in the hands of officials by Election Day. Keep in mind that, in many states, you can also return your ballot in person or via a drop box rather than in the mail.

Here’s a list of the deadlines for voting by mail in every state.

ALABAMA ∙ ALASKA ∙ ARIZONA ∙ ARKANSAS ∙ CALIFORNIA ∙ COLORADO ∙ CONNECTICUT ∙ DELAWARE ∙ FLORIDA ∙ GEORGIA ∙ HAWAII ∙ IDAHO ∙ ILLINOIS ∙ INDIANA ∙ IOWA ∙ KANSAS ∙ KENTUCKY ∙ LOUISIANA ∙ MAINE ∙ MARYLAND ∙ MASSACHUSETTS ∙ MICHIGAN ∙ MINNESOTA ∙ MISSISSIPPI ∙ MISSOURI ∙ MONTANA ∙ NEBRASKA ∙ NEVADA ∙ NEW HAMPSHIRE ∙ NEW JERSEY ∙ NEW MEXICO ∙ NEW YORK ∙ NORTH CAROLINA ∙ NORTH DAKOTA ∙ OHIO ∙ OKLAHOMA ∙ OREGON ∙ PENNSYLVANIA ∙ RHODE ISLAND ∙ SOUTH CAROLINA ∙ SOUTH DAKOTA ∙ TENNESSEE ∙ TEXAS ∙ UTAH ∙ VERMONT ∙ VIRGINIA ∙ WASHINGTON ∙ WASHINGTON, D.C. ∙ WEST VIRGINIA ∙ WISCONSIN ∙ WYOMING

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Alabama

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. The Alabama Secretary of State said on July 20 that anyone concerned about COVID-19 can apply for a ballot and check the box that says, “I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls.” (Click here for information on who qualifies for an absentee ballot.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? If you apply in person or by mail, your application must be received by the office of the Absentee Election Manager for your county by Oct. 29. (Click here for information on how to fill out your absentee ballot application.)

When is your ballot due? If you return your ballot by mail, it must be postmarked no later than Nov. 2 and received by the Absentee Election Manager no later than noon on Nov. 3 (Election Day). If you deliver your ballot in person, you must bring it to the office of the Absentee Election Manager by close of the business day on Nov. 2. (Click here for information on how to fill out your absentee ballot.)

Alaska

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. All registered voters can vote absentee by mail. (Click here for more information.)

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What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Whether you apply in person, by mail or online, your application must be received by Oct. 24. (Click here for more information on how to apply for your ballot.)

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When is your ballot due? It must be postmarked on or before Nov. 3 (Election Day). (Click here for more information on how to fill out your absentee ballot.)

Arizona

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. You can sign up for either the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL)—which automatically sends you a ballot-by-mail for every election—or make a one-time request for a ballot-by-mail. (Click here for more information on the difference.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? You must either sign up for PEVL or request your one-time ballot-by-mail by 5 p.m. on Oct. 23. (Click here for more information on how to request your ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Your ballot-by-mail must be received by county election officials by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day). If you’re going to return it by mail, Arizona recommends you mail it by Oct. 27. You can also drop it off at any ballot drop-box, drop-off location, early voting location or Election Day voting location in your county on or before Nov. 3 (Election Day). (More information on that here.)

Arkansas

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. The Governor said on July 10 that “anyone who fears that going to a polling place on Nov. 3 will put his or her health at risk may request an absentee ballot.”

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? If you apply by mail, you have to submit your application by Oct. 27. If you apply in person—or via a designated bearer or administrator—you have to submit your application by the end of the business day on Nov. 2. A designated bearer is a person you select to pick up or deliver your application or ballot. If you apply via an authorized agent (more on that here) you have to apply by 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day). (Click here for information on how to request your absentee ballot.)

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When is your ballot due? If you return your ballot by mail, by designated bearer or by an authorized agent, you must return it by 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 3. If you return it in person, you must return it by the end of the business day on Nov. 2. (Click here for more info on how to fill out your absentee ballot.)

California

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. The Governor has signed a law sending a vote-by-mail ballot to every active registered California voter this election.

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? You don’t have to apply. If you’re registered to vote, it will be sent to you regardless. (More information on that here.)

When is your ballot due? If you’re returning your ballot by mail, the ballot must be postmarked on or before Nov. 3 and received by your county elections office no later than 17 days after the election. If you return it in person, you have to bring the ballot to a polling place, the office of your county elections official or a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day). (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Colorado

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. Colorado already conducts its elections by mail. Every active registered voter will be sent a ballot in the mail. (More information on that process here.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Your ballot will be sent to the mailing address you provided when you registered to vote. Keep in mind that you must register to vote by Oct. 26 in order to receive a ballot in the mail. You can still register to vote up until 7 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day), you’ll just have to vote in person.

When is your ballot due? Your county clerk must receive your ballot no later than 7 p.m. on Nov. 3, whether you mailed it, left it in a designed drop box or delivered it in person. (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Connecticut

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. All voters can vote via absentee ballot this election; just check “COVID-19” on your application.

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Connecticut is mailing absentee ballot applications to all active registered Connecticut voters, and while the deadline to return those applications is technically Nov. 2, election officials encourage you to allow enough time for your ballot to be mailed to you. You can return the application via mail, in person or via a secure ballot drop box. (Click here for more information on filling out your absentee ballot application.)

When is your ballot due? All ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3, whether you return them to the Town Clerk’s office in person, via mail or via secure drop box. (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Delaware

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. Delaware offers both vote by mail and absentee voting. Vote by mail doesn’t require a reason for requesting a ballot, while absentee voting does. However, the Governor has said voters who are “impacted by COVID-19,” including those who are “practicing self-quarantining or social distancing,” can select option 3 on the absentee ballot application, which says, “I am sick, or physically disabled.” (Click here for more information on how to vote absentee during COVID-19.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? The Department of Elections’ office in your county needs to have received your application for a vote by mail ballot or an absentee ballot by Oct. 30. (Click here for information on how to apply for your ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Both types of ballots must be returned to the county elections office by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3.

Florida

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. All registered Florida voters are allowed to vote by mail. (Click here for more info on voting by mail in Florida.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Your request to have a ballot mailed to you must be received by your local supervisor of elections office before 5 p.m. on Oct. 24. You can also pick up a mail-in ballot from your local supervisor of elections’ office up until Nov. 2. You can also pick up a mail-in ballot on Nov. 3 (Election Day), but only if an emergency prevents you from going to your local polling place. (Click here for more information on how to apply for your absentee ballot.)

When is your ballot due? The supervisor of elections’ office must receive your ballot by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day), whether you return it via mail or in person via a secure drop box in your county. Florida asks that you not return the ballot to a polling place. (Click here for more information about how to fill out and return your ballot.)

Georgia

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. Georgia has no-excuse absentee ballots. (Click here for more information on voting by mail in Georgia.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Your application must be received by the end of the business day on Oct. 30. You can apply online, via mail, via fax or in person. (Click here for more information on how to apply.)

When is your ballot due? Your ballot must be received by election officials by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day). (Click here for more information on returning your absentee ballot.)

Hawaii

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. Hawaii already practices vote by mail. Ballots are mailed to the address on file with your voter registration. (Click here for more information on how Hawaii conducts elections.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? It’s already being mailed to you. However, if you’re going to be out of the state during the election, you can also apply for a one-time absentee ballot to be sent to an alternate address. If you choose this option, you must apply by Oct. 27. (Click here for more information on how to vote by mail.)

When is your ballot due? Your ballot must be received by the clerk’s office by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day), whether you return it via mail, in person or in a designated drop off spot. (Click here for more information about how to fill out your ballot.)

Idaho

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. You just need to be registered to vote in Idaho to request an absentee ballot. (Click here for more information on absentee voting in Idaho.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Your county clerk must have received your absentee ballot request by 5 p.m. on Oct. 23. (Click here for more information on requesting your ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Regardless of whether you return your ballot in person, via a drop box or the mail, your county clerk must receive your absentee ballot by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day). (Click here for more information on returning your absentee ballot.)

Illinois

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. Any registered voter can request to vote by mail. (Click here for more information on vote by mail in Illinois.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Your application must be received by the election authority by Oct. 29. (Click here for more information on requesting a vote by mail ballot.)

When is your ballot due? If you return your ballot via mail, it must be postmarked by Nov. 3 (Election Day) and must be received by Nov. 17. You can also return your ballot to the office of the election authority or via a drop box until 7 p.m. on Nov. 3. (Click here for more information about how to fill out your ballot.)

Indiana

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? As of Sept. 15, COVID-19 is not a valid reason to vote absentee. (Click here for a full list of who qualifies to vote absentee via mail.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Your application must be received by the county or state by 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 22. (Click here for more information on returning your application.)

When is your ballot due? Your county elections office must receive your ballot by noon on Nov. 3 (Election Day). (Click here for more information on how to return your ballot.)

Iowa

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. Any registered Iowa voter can request an absentee ballot. (More information about that here.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Your application must be received by your county auditor by 5 p.m. on Oct. 24. (More information on how to apply for your ballot here.)

When is your ballot due? Ballots that are received by the county auditor’s office after polls close on Nov. 3 (Election Day) must be postmarked Nov. 2 or earlier and received no later than noon on Nov. 9. (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Kansas

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. Any registered Kansas voter can request an absentee ballot. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Your application must be received by your local election office by the close of the business day on Oct. 27. (Click here for more information on getting your absentee ballot.)

When is your ballot due? If you choose to return your ballot in person, you must bring it to your local election office or a ballot drop box by Nov. 3 (Election Day). You can also bring it to any polling location in your county on Nov. 3. If you choose to return your ballot via mail, it must be postmarked by the close of business on Nov. 3 (Election Day) and received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 6. (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Kentucky

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. Any Kentucky voter “concerned with contracting or spreading COVID-19” can vote via an absentee ballot by mail. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? The deadline to apply for a ballot online is 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 9. Other means (Click here for more information on applying for your ballot.)

When is your ballot due? If you return your ballot in person, it must be received by your county clerk by 6 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day). If you return it by mail, it must be postmarked by Nov. 3 (Election Day) and be received by 6 p.m. on Nov. 6. (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Louisiana

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? As of Sept. 10 you can’t, although that could change before Election Day. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry issued an opinion on Sep. 1 that said that any voter who is diagnosed with COVID-19 or is under a quarantine order awaiting a COVID-19 diagnosis can qualify to vote absentee if a medical professional certifies they have a disability, but that ruling has been challenged in court. Check your local news or parish office for the latest developments. (Click here for a full list of who qualifies for an absentee ballot as of now.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Your parish registrar of voters must receive your application by 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 30. You can return your application by mail, in person or via fax. (Click here for more information on applying for an absentee ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Your parish registrar of voters must receive your ballot by 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 2. You can return it by mail, by fax or by hand. (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Maine

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. Any registered voter can vote by mail in Maine. (Click here for more information on voting by mail.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? As of Sep. 15, you must request your mail-in absentee ballot by 5 p.m. on Oct. 29. (Click here for more information on how to apply for a ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Your mail-in absentee ballot must be received by your municipal clerk’s office by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day). (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Maryland

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. Any registered voter can vote by mail-in ballot in Maryland. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot?Your application must be received by Oct. 20. But, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections, “If you miss the deadline but still want to vote by mail-in ballot, you or your agent must apply in person at your local board of elections.” (More information on applying for a ballot here.)

When is your ballot due? If you hand-deliver your ballot, you can bring it to a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day). You could also drop your ballot off at an early voting center, an election day vote center or your local board of elections by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. If you return your ballot by mail, it must be postmarked by Nov. 3 and must be received by your local board of elections by 10 a.m. on Nov. 13. (Click here for more information on filling out your ballot.)

Massachusetts

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. All registered voters can vote by mail in the 2020 election. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Your application must be received by your local election office by Oct. 28. However, officials recommend you submit your application no later than Oct. 20 to “ensure the timely delivery of your ballot.” (Click here for more information on how to apply for a ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Your ballot must be postmarked by Nov. 3 (Election Day) and must be received by your local election office by Nov. 6. (Click here for more information on how to return your ballot.)

Michigan

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. All registered Michigan voters can vote via an absent voter ballot. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? The deadline to apply by mail is 5 p.m. on Oct. 30. The deadline to apply in person at your local clerk is 4 p.m. Nov. 2. (Click here for more information on how to apply for your ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Your city or township clerk must receive your ballot by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. You can return it by mail, via a drop box or in person at your local clerk. (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Minnesota

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. All registered voters can request an absentee ballot. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? While there isn’t a “formal deadline” to apply for an absentee ballot, a spokesperson for the Minnesota Secretary of State tells TIME via email that voters are encouraged to “apply early, as it takes some days to process the application, prepare the ballot, and mail it out to voters.” The ballots are usually “mailed to voters starting about six weeks ahead of Election Day.” (Click here for more information on requesting your ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Your ballot must be postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by your county by Nov. 10. You can also drop off your absentee ballot at your local elections office up until 3 p.m. on Nov. 3.

Mississippi

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? On Sep. 3, a Mississippi court ruled that voters who either have underlying medical conditions that put them at risk for COVID-19 or who are caring for people who have underlying medical conditions that put them at risk for COVID-19 would qualify to vote via absentee ballot. However, Secretary of State Michael Watson filed an emergency motion asking the state Supreme Court to overturn that decision. The court has yet to rule on his motion.

In its step-by-step guide to absentee voting, the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office says, “County Circuit Clerks are responsible for absentee voting and providing absentee ballots. Please contact your County Circuit Clerk to see if you are entitled to vote under Mississippi’s absentee voting laws.” (Click here for more information on who qualifies for absentee ballots.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? There’s no official deadline to apply for a mail-in absentee ballot, but officials recommend you do so as soon as possible to allow time to complete the process of voting by mail. (Click here for more information on getting your absentee ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Your mail-in absentee ballot must be postmarked by Nov. 3 (Election Day) and received by Nov. 10. (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Missouri

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. For the 2020 election, Missouri has distinguished between absentee voting and mail-in voting.

Voters can request a mail-in ballot without an excuse, but they must get that ballot notarized and return the ballot through the mail. (More information on that here.)

Missouri voters can also request an absentee ballot if they have contracted or are at risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19. (Click here for more information on absentee voting.) That ballot would not need to be notarized, and can be returned by mail or in person. (Click here for more information on all your vote by mail options.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? If you apply for a mail-in ballot, your election authority must receive your request by 5 p.m. on Oct. 21. (Click here for more information on requesting a mail-in ballot.)

If you’re applying for an absentee ballot via mail, your request must be received by 5 p.m. on Oct. 21. You can also request an absentee ballot in person until Nov. 2. (Click here for more information on requesting an absentee ballot.)

When is your ballot due? If you’re voting via mail-in ballot, it must be returned through the mail and received by the election authority by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day). (Click here for more information on returning your mail-in ballot.)

If you’re voting via absentee ballot, it can be returned via mail or in person but must still be received by the election authority by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3. (Click here for more information on returning your absentee ballot.)

Montana

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. In August, Gov. Steve Bullock issued a directive saying counties could decide “at their local discretion” whether to opt into having “all-mail” ballots in the general election. Fortysix of the state’s 56 counties have decided to do so, although the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign have filed a lawsuit against the state, arguing that the directive could allow for voter fraud. (The suit is pending.) Check to see whether your county expanded voting by mail.

Regardless, all registered Montana voters also have the option of voting absentee. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Your county elections office must receive your absentee ballot application by noon on Nov. 2. (Click here for more information on applying for an absentee ballot.)

When is your ballot due? It must be received by your election office or polling place by 8:00 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day). (Click here for more information on how to turn in your absentee ballot.)

Nebraska

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. Any registered voter can vote absentee, which Nebraska also refers to as “early-voting ballots.” (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Whether you apply in person, via mail or via fax, your application must be received by 6 p.m. on Oct. 23. (Click here for more information on applying for your ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Your ballot must be received by the close of polls on Nov. 3 (Election Day), whether you deliver it in person, by mail or by “other carrier.” (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Nevada

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. All active registered Nevada voters will be mailed a ballot for the general election. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? N/A. All active registered voters are already being mailed a ballot. (Click here for more information on requesting your ballot.)

When is your ballot due? If you return it in person, your ballot must be dropped off by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day.) If you return it via mail, your ballot must be postmarked by Election Day and received no later than Nov. 10. (Click here for more information on mailing in your ballot.)

New Hampshire

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. According to the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s website, “Concerns over COVID-19 is a permissible reason for a voter to request an absentee ballot for the 2020 elections.” (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? There’s no specific deadline to apply, but officials recommend leaving ample time for your application to be processed. (Click here for more information on getting your absentee ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Your city or town clerk must receive your absentee ballot by 5 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day), although there are some exceptions for emergency workers. (Click here for more information on returning your absentee ballot.)

New Jersey

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. New Jersey is mailing a ballot to all active registered voters in the state for the 2020 general election. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Ballots are already being mailed to all active registered voters. If you don’t receive your ballot for some reason, officials recommend you contact your county clerk’s office. (Click here for more information on getting your absentee ballot.)

When is your ballot due? If you return it in person, your ballot must be received by your County Board of Elections by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. You can also return your ballot via a secure drop box until 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. If you return it via mail, it must be postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by 8 p.m. on Nov. 10. (Click here for more information on returning your absentee ballot.)

New Mexico

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. You don’t need an excuse to vote absentee by mail in New Mexico. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Your application must be received by your County Clerk’s office by 5 p.m. on Oct. 20. (Click here for more information on getting your ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Your county clerk or voter’s precinct must receive your ballot by 7 p.m. on Election Day. (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

New York

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. The New York State Board of Elections has said that if you are unable to vote in person because of the “risk of contracting or spreading a communicable disease like COVID-19” you can request an absentee ballot and select “temporary illness or disability” as your reason. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? If you apply via mail, email, fax or online portal, your application must be received by Oct. 27. If you apply in person, you must apply by Nov. 2. (Click here for more information on applying for your ballot.)

When is your ballot due? If you return your ballot via mail, it must be postmarked by Nov. 3 (Election Day) and received by the board of elections by Nov. 10. You could also bring your ballot to your county board of elections office or to a poll site by 9 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day). You can also bring it to an early voting poll site between Oct. 24 and Nov. 1. (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

North Carolina

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. All registered voters can request a mail-in absentee ballot in North Carolina. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Your application must be received by 5 p.m. on Oct. 27, regardless of whether you apply via online portal, email, fax, mail or in person at your county board of elections. (Click here for more information on requesting your absentee ballot.)

When is your ballot due? If you return your ballot by mail, it must be postmarked by Nov. 3 (Election Day) and received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 6. If you return it in person, it must be returned to the county board of elections by 5 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day). You can also drop it off at any early voting site in your county during voting hours. (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

North Dakota

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. All registered North Dakota voters can vote by mail. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? There is no firm deadline, but officials recommend leaving ample time for your application to be processed. (Click here for more information on applying for a ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Your ballot must be postmarked by Nov. 2. If you don’t make this deadline, you’ll have to vote in person. (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Ohio

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. Any registered Ohio voter can vote by mail. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? You must request your ballot by Oct. 31. (Click here for more information on requesting your ballot.)

When is your ballot due? If you return it via mail, your ballot must be postmarked by Nov. 2 and received by the board of elections by Nov. 13. You can also return your ballot in-person to your county board of elections by 7:30 p.m.on Nov. 3 (Election Day). (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Oklahoma

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. In Oklahoma, voters don’t need to provide a reason for requesting a “standard” absentee ballot. Some voters can also qualify for a “physically incapacitated” absentee ballot, which are meant to “make absentee voting even easier,” per the Oklahoma State Election Board. (Click here for more information on voting absentee amid COVID-19.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? You must apply for your “standard” absentee ballot or your “physically incapacitated” absentee ballot by 5 p.m. on Oct. 27. (Click here for more information about getting your absentee ballot.)

When is your ballot due? If you return your “standard” absentee ballot via mail, the county election board must receive it by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day). If you return your “standard” absentee ballot in person, you must bring it to the County Election Board by the end of the business day on Nov. 2.

If you vote via a “physically incapacitated” absentee ballot, you must return it via the mail and it must be received by your county election board by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3. (Click here for more information on returning your absentee ballot.)

Oregon

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. Oregon is already an all vote-by-mail state.

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? All registered voters are already sent a ballot in the mail. (Click here to read more about receiving your ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Your ballot can be returned via mail or via drop box, and must be received by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day). (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Pennsylvania

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. Pennsylvania distinguishes between mail-in ballots and absentee ballots. While you need an excuse to get an absentee ballot, every registered voter can apply for a mail-in ballot. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Your county election office must receive your application for either your mail-in ballot or absentee ballot by 5 p.m. on Oct. 27. (Click here for more information on applying for either ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Your ballot must be postmarked by Nov. 3 (Election Day) and received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 6. (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Rhode Island

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. All registered votes can request to vote by mail in Rhode Island. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Your application is due by 4 p.m. on Oct. 13. (Click here for more information on applying for an absentee ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Whether you return your ballot via mail, via drop box or hand deliver it to the board of elections in-person, the board of elections must receive it by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day). Rhode Island’s state department recommends you allow at least three mailing days for your ballot to arrive. (Click here for more information on filling out and returning your ballot.)

South Carolina

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. On Sept. 16, Gov. Henry McMaster signed a law making it so all registered South Carolina voters have the option of voting absentee in the general election. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? As of Sept. 17, your application must be received by 5 p.m. on Oct. 24. (Although there are some exceptions, so check with your local election officials.) A spokesperson for the South Carolina State Election Commission also tells TIME they recommend voters apply at least two weeks before the election so they have enough time to complete the process of voting by mail. (Click here for more information on applying for your ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Whether you return your ballot in person or via mail, it must be received by your county voter registration office by 7:00 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day). (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

South Dakota

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. You don’t need an excuse to vote by mail in South Dakota. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Your county election official must receive your application by 5 p.m. on Nov. 2. (Click here for more information on applying for your ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Your ballot must be received by your county election official “in enough time to deliver your ballot to your voting precinct before the polls close” on Nov. 3, according to the South Dakota Secretary of State’s website. (Click here for more information on returning your absentee ballot.)

Tennessee

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? For the 2020 election, Tennessee voters can vote absentee by-mail if they have an “underlying medical or health conditions which in their determination render them more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 or at greater risk should they contract it.” They can also vote absentee by-mail if they are the caretaker of a person in that position. A doctor’s statement is not required. (Click here for a full list of who qualifies for an absentee ballot this election cycle.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? The election commission must receive your ballot no later than Oct. 27. (Click here for more information on requesting your ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Your county election commission must receive your ballot by the time polls close on Nov. 3 (Election Day). Note that you must return your ballot by mail. (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Texas

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Texans can qualify for a ballot by mail if they are 65 or older, are in jail but still eligible to vote, will be out of their county or have a disability or illness. Texas law defines a disability as “a sickness or physical condition that prevents the voter from appearing at the polling place on election day without a likelihood of needing personal assistance or of injuring the voter’s health.”

The Texas Tribune reports that the while “lack of immunity to the new coronavirus alone doesn’t qualify a voter for a mail-in ballot based on disability, a voter can consider it along with their medical history to decide if they meet the requirement.” (Click here for more information on the Tribune’s reporting on vote by mail in Texas.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Your application must be received by your county elections office by Oct. 23. (Click here for more information on applying for an absentee ballot.)

When is your ballot due? If it’s not postmarked, your ballot is due by 7:00 p.m. on Nov. 3. If it’s postmarked by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3, it must be received by officials by 5 p.m. on Nov. 4. (Click here for more information on voting in Texas.)

Utah

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. Utah already practices vote-by-mail. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? No need to apply! All registered voters will be sent a ballot automatically. But keep in mind that the deadline to register to vote and receive a mail in ballot is 5:00 p.m. on Oct. 23. (Click here for more information on registering to vote.)

When is your ballot due? If you return your ballot via mail, it must be postmarked by Nov. 2. You can also drop it off at a secure drop box until 8:00 p.m. on Nov. 3. (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Vermont

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. All registered Vermont voters usually have the option of voting by mail. And because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all active registered voters will automatically be mailed a ballot beginning mid-September. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? All active registered voters are already automatically receiving a ballot. (Click here for more information on requesting your ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Your ballot must be received by the town clerk’s office before the end of the business day on Nov. 2, or by 7 p.m. at your local polling place on Nov. 3. (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Virginia

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. You don’t need to provide a reason for voting by mail in Virginia.

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? You must submit your application by 5 p.m. on Oct. 23, either by fax, email, mail or online portal. (Click here for more information on applying for an absentee ballot.)

When is your ballot due? If you return your ballot in person, it must be received by your local register by 7:00 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Election Day). If you return it by mail, it must be postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by your local register by noon on Nov. 6. (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Washington

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. Washington already holds vote-by-mail elections. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? You don’t need to apply! All active registered voters will be mailed a ballot. (Click here for more information on receiving your ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Your ballot must either be returned to a drop box by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 or postmarked by Nov. 3. (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Washington, D.C.

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. All active registered D.C. voters will receive a mail-in-ballot at their registered address for the 2020 general election. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? You don’t need to apply! Your ballot will automatically be mailed to you. However, if you want your ballot to be sent to a location other than your registered address, that request must be received by Oct. 20. (Click here for more information on getting your ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Your ballot must be postmarked or “otherwise demonstrated to have been sent” by Nov. 3 and must be received by Nov. 13. (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

West Virginia

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. When you apply for your absentee ballot, you can click the box that gives the reason of “illness, injury or other medical reason which keeps me confined (includes concerns of COVID-19).” (Click here for information about voting by mail in West Virginia.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? Your application must be received by your county clerk’s office by Oct. 28. You can apply via email, via the mail, via fax or in-person. (Click here for more information on applying for an absentee ballot.)

When is your ballot due? If you return your ballot in person, it must be delivered to your county clerk’s office by the end of the business day on Nov. 2. If you return it via the mail, it must be postmarked by Election Day and received by your county clerk’s office by Nov. 9.

Wisconsin

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. All registered voters may vote absentee by mail. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? The election clerk must receive your application by 5:00 p.m. on Oct. 29. However, a spokesperson for the Wisconsin Elections Commission tells TIME they “strongly recommend voters request an absentee ballot now.” (Click here for more information on requesting a ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Your municipal clerk’s office or local polling place must receive your ballot by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. (Click here for more information on returning your ballot.)

Wyoming

Can you vote by mail if you’re nervous about COVID-19? Yes. Any registered Wyoming voter can request an absentee ballot. (Click here for more information.)

What’s the deadline to apply for your ballot? By law, absentee ballots can be requested any day except for on Election Day. However, if you’re going to apply via mail, officials recommend you leave adequate time for it to be received and processed. (Click here for more information on requesting an absentee ballot.)

When is your ballot due? Regardless of if you return your ballot in person or by mail, your county clerk’s office must receive it by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3.

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usr: 1
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