Maps of World
Current, Credible, Consistent

Absentee Ballot

Absentee ballot

Voters in the United States can vote in different ways. One of these methods is the absentee ballot which is aimed at the voter who is unable or is unwilling to attend the official polling station. Absentee ballot is considered as a way to improve voter turnout.

Voters can request for an absentee ballot to be mailed. The request has to be made at least one week before the election takes place. The voter is expected to mark his or her ballot and then mail it to the state. The voter also has the option to bring the ballot in person to the designated location. Five states, which include Louisiana, Utah, Florida, Minnesota and Maryland, allow a voter to submit an application entirely online. In Michigan’s Detroit city, the voter can request an absentee ballot through a smartphone app.

However, there are a lot of variations in state procedures. 20 states in the country require an excuse from the voter to vote absentee. However, 27 states and the District of Columbia permit any qualified voter to vote absentee. They do not require the voter to state a reason as to why they want to vote absentee. Some states also offer a permanent absentee ballot. Once a voter asks for his or her name to be added to the list, s/he will automatically receive an absentee ballot for all the elections that will take place in the future.

In most of the states, absentee ballots are counted on the Election Day. The counting process can continue for several days after Election Day. The latest deadline is 10 days after Election Day.

American citizens, who are living overseas including active personnel of the military, are covered by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. This Act, which was enacted by the Congress in 1986, provides for a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot. This can be used in place of absentee ballots provided under state laws.

Last Updated on: June 16, 2016