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Vote by Mail States 2024

Vote by Mail States 2024

Vote by mail, also called mail-in voting, allows those who are registered to vote to receive a ballot at their designated mailing address, typically a few weeks before the election. After completing the ballot, the registered voter can either mail it back or drop it in a drop-box before Election Day.

Absentee Voting

Mail-in voting is similar to absentee ballots. Absentee ballots started during the Civil War, allowing soldiers to cast their ballots in their home states. Absentee ballots became more common as they made voting more accessible to more people, such as those who are facing emergency situations or those who have a disability. Over time, many states began expanding access to absentee voting.

Today, 34 states and the District of Columbia allow any voter to ask for an absentee ballot even if they are physically able to vote in person on Election Day. This is called “no-excuse absentee voting.” The other 16 states have specific requirements to receive an absentee ballot but have relaxed their rules due to the coronavirus pandemic. This means that someone can cite the virus as an excuse for their request.

Election officials began referring to absentee ballots as “advanced ballots,” “mailed ballots,” “vote-by-mail ballots,” and “mail ballots” as the practice became more widespread and the policy of absentee voting was expanded to be available more people. If you are in the United States, you must register to vote before you’re eligible to receive an absentee ballot.

States with Statutory Provisions for All-Mail Ballot Elections

Currently, five states conduct all elections by mail: Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Oregon was the first state to implement this system in 2000. Hawaii was the most recent state to implement all-mail ballot elections in 2020.

Three states permit counties to opt into conducting all elections by mail: California, Nebraska, North Dakota. Nine states permit some elections to be conducted by mail: Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Five states permit certain jurisdictions to be designated as all-mail based on population: Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, and New Mexico.

The following states have no-excuse absentee voting: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado (all-mail elections), District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii (all-mail eletions), Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon (all-mail elections), Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah (all-mail elections), Vermont, Virginia, Washington (all-mail elections), Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Vote by Mail States 2024

- As of 2023, all states with automatic mail-in voting automatically provide each registered voter with a mail-in ballot, but also offer in-person voting in designated locations for those who prefer it.

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Vote by Mail Offered
Vote by Mail Eligibility
Additional Details
AlaskaYesOnly small elections
Elections that are not held on the same day as a general, party primary or municipal election may be...
ArizonaYesOnly small elections
A city, town, school district or special district may conduct small elections by mail.
CaliforniaYesAutomatic for all elections
Enacted 2021, implemented 2022
ColoradoYesAutomatic for all elections
Enacted 2013, implemented 2014
District of ColumbiaYesAutomatic for all elections
FloridaYesOnly small elections
Referendum elections at the county, city, school district or special district level may be conducted...
HawaiiYesAutomatic for all elections
Enacted 2019, implemented 2020
IdahoYesSmall jurisdictions only
A precinct which contains no more than 140 registered electors at the last general election may be d...
KansasYesOnly small elections
Nonpartisan elections in which no candidate is elected, retained or recalled and which are not held ...
MarylandYesOnly small elections
Special elections not held concurrently with a regularly scheduled primary or general election may b...
MinnesotaYesSmall jurisdictions only
Elections conducted by a municipality having fewer than 400 registered voters on June 1 of an electi...
MissouriYesOnly small elections
Nonpartisan issue elections at which no candidate is elected, retained or recalled and in which all ...
MontanaYesOnly small elections
Any election other than a regularly scheduled federal, state or county election; a special federal o...
NebraskaYesCertain counties only
Counties with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants may apply to the secretary of state to mail ballots for ...
NevadaYesAutomatic for all elections
Enacted 2021, implemented 2022
New HampshireNo
New JerseyYesSmall jurisdictions only
A municipality with a population of 500 or fewer persons, according to the latest federal decennial ...
New MexicoYesSmall elections or jurisdictions
Special elections, except those to fill a vacancy in the office of U.S. Representative, shall be con...
New YorkNo
North CarolinaNo
North DakotaYesCertain counties only
Counties may conduct any election by mail. Applications for mailed ballots are sent to each individu...
OregonYesAutomatic for all elections
Enacted 1998, implemented 2000
Rhode IslandNo
South CarolinaNo
South DakotaNo
UtahYesAutomatic for all elections
Enacted 2012 (counties' choice), implemented 2019 (first year all counties opted in)
VermontYesAutomatic for all elections
Enacted 2021, implemented 2022
WashingtonYesAutomatic for all elections
Enacted 2011, implemented 2012
West VirginiaNo
WyomingYesOnly small elections
Counties may decide to conduct special elections not held in conjunction with a primary, general or ...
showing: 51 rows

Vote by Mail States 2024