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Vote By Mail

Mail In Voting2020 Election

Vote By Mail

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Timmy-

The 2020 election is turning into one of the most anticipated elections in history but the pandemic situation is causing concern for people. Eligible voters across the country are worried for their safety and the health risks of standing in line at polling places when Election Day (Tuesday, November 3) is finally here. To make matters worse, the non-stop news about the United States Postal Service and the concerns about their ability to deliver mail-in ballots to be delivered and counted on time have people even more worried.

Mail-in/absentee ballot voting is expected to increase substantially for this year’s election compared to previous elections. Just for reference, about 25% of eligible voters voted by mail in the 2016 election. It is expected that more than half of eligible voters may decide to not go vote in person and instead go the route of mail-in/absentee voting for the 2020 election.

Deadline for voters to request a mail-in ballot

When it comes to the deadline to request a mail-in ballot, some states automatically mail the ballots to the homes of all eligible voters.

States that do this are:
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Washington D.C.
  • Hawaii
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington
A few states have no exact deadline for when the request must be made. These states are:
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota

The remaining states all have set deadlines for when the ballots must be requested.

Here is a breakdown of those dates:
Date State
October 13 Rhode Island
October 20 Maryland and New Mexico
October 21 Missouri
October 22 Indiana
October 23 Arizona, Idaho, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia
October 24 Alaska, Florida, and Iowa
October 27 Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee
October 28 Massachusetts and West Virginia
October 29 Alabama, Illinois, Maine, and Wisconsin
October 30 Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, and South Carolina
October 31 Ohio
November 2 Connecticut, Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming

Please note that some states require a reasonable justification for mail-in/absentee ballot voting (eligible voters must meet state’s voting criteria).

States that have this requirement are:
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • New York
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

How to apply for mail-in/absentee ballots and state voting information

States that automatically mail out ballots
State Instructions
California Mailed to voters automatically
Colorado Mailed to voters automatically
Washington D.C. Mailed to voters automatically
Hawaii Mailed to voters automatically
Nevada Mailed to voters automatically
New Jersey Mailed to voters automatically
Oregon Mailed to voters automatically
Utah Mailed to voters automatically
Vermont Mailed to voters automatically
Washington Mailed to voters automatically
States that require reasonable justification
States that allow everyone to vote by mail
State Instructions
Alabama Apply by mailing application or in person
Alaska Apply online
Arizona Apply online
Arkansas Apply online
Connecticut Apply by mailing application or in person
Delaware Apply online
Florida Apply online, by mailing application, in person, or by phone
Georgia Apply online, by mailing application, or in person
Idaho Apply online, by mailing application, or in person
Illinois Apply by mailing application or in person
Iowa Apply by mailing application or in person
Kansas Apply by mailing application or in person
Kentucky Apply online or by mailing application
Maine Apply online or by mailing application
Maryland Apply online or by mailing application
Massachusetts Apply by mailing application or in person
Michigan Apply online or by mailing application
Minnesota Apply online or by mailing application
Missouri Apply by mailing application or in person
Montana Apply by mailing application or in person
Nebraska Apply by mailing application or in person
New Hampshire Apply by mailing application or in person
New Mexico Apply by mailing/email application, in person, or by phone
North Carolina Apply by mailing/faxing/email application or in person
North Dakota Apply by mailing application or in person
Ohio Apply by mailing application
Oklahoma Apply by mailing/faxing/email application or in person
Pennsylvania Apply online, mailing application, or in person
Rhode Island Apply by mailing application or in person
South Dakota Apply by mailing application
Virginia Apply by mailing/faxing/email application or in person
West Virginia Apply online, mailing/email application, or in person
Wisconsin Apply online or mailing/faxing/email application
Wyoming Apply online, mailing/email application, in person, or by phone

Deadline for when ballots must be received or postmarked

Date Received Deadline State
Received 1 day before election day (November 2) Louisiana and Vermont
Received on election day (November 3) Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming
Postmarked 1 day beforeelection day (November 2) Iowa, North Dakota, Ohio, and Utah
Postmarked by election day (November 3) Alaska, California, Washington D.C., Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia

Since mail-in/absentee ballots take longer to process and be counted compared to in person voting, election officials and experts are suggesting that voters send back their filled out ballots as early as they can. At the very latest, mailing filled out ballots back a week before the election should be enough time for it to be received and counted by election officials.

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