State Laws Governing Early Voting

8/2/2019

This page contains information on statutory requirements relating to the start and end of in-person early voting (including states with all-mail elections) for the 39 states and the District of Columbia that offer this option. Two additional states, Virginia and Delaware, have enacted early voting but it will not be in place until 2020 and 2022, respectively. Nine states, Alabama, Connecticut, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, do not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting options.

When statutes address locations, days and hours, we have included this information as well. Information provided here is generally for statewide general elections. Early voting periods for municipal or primary elections may be different.

The time period for early voting varies from state to state:

  • The date on which early voting begins may be as early as 45 days before the election, or as late as the Friday before the election. The average starting time for early voting is 22 days before the election.
  • Early voting typically ends just a few days before Election Day.
  • Early voting periods range in length from four days to 45 days; the average length is 19 days.
  • Of the states that allow early in-person voting, 24 and the District of Columbia allow some weekend early voting. 

    • Saturday: 20 states, plus the District of Columbia provide for voting on Saturday. Four additional states (California, Kansas, Vermont and Massachusetts) leave it up to county clerks who may choose to allow Saturday voting. Delaware and Virginia will also include Saturday voting when the laws go into effect. 

    • Sunday: Five states (Alaska, Illinois, Maryland, New York and Ohio) allow for Sunday voting. Five states (California, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Massachusetts) leave it up to county clerks who may choose to be open on Sundays. Florida mandates early voting must begin, including Sunday, the 10th day and end the third day prior to the election for state and federal elections. Local election officials also have the discretion to allow early voting the Sunday prior to the election. Delaware will also include Sunday voting when the law goes into effect in 2022.

Latest developments: 

  • In June 2019 Delaware enacted early voting (HB 38), which goes into effect in 2022.
  • In March 2019 Virginia enacted in-person absentee voting (SB 1026), which goes into effect in 2020.
  • In January 2019 the New York legislature enacted early voting (SB 1102).
  • A 2018 ballot proposition approved by voters established in-person absentee voting in Michigan, and legislation (SB 1238) was subsequently enacted providing more details on implementation.
  • A 2013 law reducing early voting hours in North Carolina was struck down by the The Supreme Court in August 2016. Going forward early voting in North Carolina begins on the third Thursday and ends on the last Thursday before Election Day.

This page is not intended to provide voters with information on when to vote, but rather to provide a state-by-state comparison of policies. To find specific dates and times for your voting district check with your local elections office. This page has information on how to contact your local elections office. 

For further information on pre-Election Day voting, visit NCSL's Web page Absentee and Early Voting, or contact the Early Voting Information Center.

The box allows you to conduct a full text search or type the state name.

State Laws Governing Early Voting
State Early Voting Begins Early Voting Ends Locations Hours and Days

Alaska
AS §15.20.064, 15.20.045 and 6 AAC 25.500

15 days before election

Day of election

Elections supervisors’ offices

Other locations as designated by election director

Varies by location

Arizona

ARS §16-541, 16-542

26 days before election

Friday before election

Recorder’s office

Any other locations in the county the recorder deems necessary

Not specified

Arkansas
AR Code §7-5-418

15 days before election

5 p.m. Monday before election

Offices of county clerk

Other locations as determined by county board of election commissioners

Not specified

California
Elec. Code §3001, 3018

29 days before election

Day before election

County election officials’ offices

Satellite locations as determined by county election officials

Varies from county to county

Delaware
Del. Code Title 15, Chapter 54
(Note: goes into effect in 2022)

At least 10 days before an election Sunday before election

Designated by state election commissioner

At least one per county and one additional in the City of Wilmington

At least 8 hours per day. Polling sites must open at 7 a.m. on at least 5 days of early voting. Closing time is 7 p.m.

Includes the Saturday and Sunday before the election

District of Columbia
DC ST § 1-1001.09

7 days before election, but in-person absentee voting is available 15 days before

Saturday before election for early voting, day before election for in-person absentee

Council Chambers

One satellite location in each ward

8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.

Sunday excluded

Florida
Fla. Stat. §101.657

10 days before election

May be offered 11 to 15 days before an election that contains state and federal races, at the discretion of the elections supervisor 

3 days before election

May end 2 days before an election that contains state and federal races, at the discretion of the elections supervisor

Main or branch offices of  elections supervisors

Other sites designated by the elections supervisor (locations must provide all voters in that area with equal opportunity to vote)

No less than 8 or more than 12 hours per day

Election supervisors may choose to provide additional days of early voting, including weekends

Georgia
GA Code §21-2-380 and §21-2-382

Fourth Monday prior to a primary or election; as soon as possible prior to a runoff

Friday immediately prior to a primary, election or runoff

Board of registrars’ offices

Other sites as designated by boards of registrars (must be a government building generally accessible to the public)

Normal business hours on weekdays

9 a.m.-4 p.m. on the second Saturday prior to primary or election

Election officials may provide for early voting beyond regular business hours

Hawaii
HRS §15-7

10 working days before election

Saturday before election

Clerks’ offices

Other sites designated by clerks

Hours determined by county clerks.

Idaho
ID Code §34-1006 and 34-1002

Third Monday before election (in-person absentee)

5 p.m., Friday before election

Determined by county clerk

Not specified

Illinois
10 ILCS 5/19A-15 and 10 ILCS 5/19A-20

40th day before election for temporary polling locations and 15th day before election for permanent locations

End of the day before election day

An election authority may establish permanent and temporary polling places for early voting at locations throughout the election authority’s jurisdiction, including but not limited to:

Municipal clerk’s office

Township clerk’s office

Road district clerk’s office

County or local public agency office

Early voting locations must be provided at public universities

Permanent early voting locations must remain open from the fifteenth day before an election during the hours of 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. or 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekdays.

Beginning eight days before an election, they must remain open 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. or 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m.-Noon on Saturdays and holidays, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sundays.

Permanent early voting locations must stay open at least 8 hours on any holiday and a total of at least 14 hours on the final weekend during the early voting period.

Election authorities may decide the days and hours for temporary early voting locations, beginning the fortieth day before an election.

Indiana
Ind. Code §3-11-4-1 and 3-11-10-26

28 days before election (in-person absentee) Noon, day before election

Office of circuit court clerk

County election board may adopt a resolution to authorize the circuit court clerk to establish satellite offices for early voting

The office of the circuit court clerk must permit in-person absentee voting for at least seven hours on each of the two Saturdays preceding election day, but a county with fewer than 20,000 voters may reduce this to a minimum of four hours on each of the two Saturdays preceding election day

Iowa
IA Code §53.10 and 53.11(b)

29 days before election (in-person absentee) 5 p.m., day before election

Commissioners’ offices

Satellite locations may be established by commissioner

Satellite location must be established upon receipt of a petition signed by at least 100 eligible electors requesting a specific location

A satellite station established by petition must be open at least one day for a minimum of six hours

Kansas
KSA §25-1119, 25-1122a, 25-1123

20 days before election OR Tuesday before election (varies by county) Noon, day before election

Offices of county election officers

County election officers may designate satellite locations

Not specified

Louisiana
LRS 18:1303 and 1309

14 days before election 7 days before election

Registrars’ offices

Registrar may provide alternate location in the courthouse or a public building in the immediate vicinity thereof
 

One branch office of the registrar, as long as it is in a public building

8:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Saturday

Holidays excluded

Maine
Title 21-A §753B(2) and 753-B(8)

In-person absentee voting available as soon as absentee ballots are ready (30-45 days before election)

Three business days before election, unless the voter has an acceptable excuse.

Municipal clerks’ offices

During regular business hours on days when clerks’ offices are open

Maryland
Election Law §10-301.1

Second Thursday before a primary or general election

Thursday before election

Established by State Board of Elections in collaboration with local boards

Number required depends on county population and ranges from one to five per county

8 a.m.-8 p.m. in a presidential election

10 a.m.-8 p.m. each day in all other elections

Michigan
Constitution Article II, Section 4 (as amended by Ballot Proposal 3 in 2018)

In-person absentee voting during the 40 days before an election Day before election At least one location

During regular business hours and for at least eight hours during the Saturday and/or Sunday immediately prior to the election.

Local election officials have the authority to make in-person absentee voting available for additional times and places beyond what is required.

Massachussets 
M.G.L.A. 54 §25B
(only available for state biennial elections)

Eleven days before election

Second business day before election (Friday before)

City hall election office and town clerk’s office

Alternate or additional locations may be provided at the discrection of the city or town registrar

Regular business hours. City or town clerks may provide additional hours (including weekends) at their discretion.

Minnesota
M.S.A. §203B.081,  203B.085

46 days before election (in-person absentee)

5 p.m. the day before election

Elections offices or any other location designated by county auditor

Monday through Friday regular business hours.

10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday before election; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on the day before Election Day.

Montana
M.C.A. §13-13-205

30 days before election (in-person absentee)

Day before election

Elections offices

Not specified

Nebraska
N.R.S. §32-808, §32-938, 32-942

30 days before each an election.

Election Day

County clerk or election commissioners’ offices

Not specified

Nevada
N.R.S. §293.356 et seq.

Third Saturday preceding election

Friday before election

Permanent places for early voting as designated by county clerk

Branch polling places for early voting as designated by county clerk

There are special requirements for early voting sites on Native American reservations.

Until Dec. 31, 2019: 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Friday of the first and second weeks. The Clerk may conduct early voting until 8 p.m. during the second week. At least four hours between 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on any Saturday that falls during the period. Sundays and holidays are excepted, but a clerk may include them as early voting days.

 

Beginning Jan. 1, 2020: Monday through Friday for at least 8 hours a day, to be established by the clerk. Any Saturday that falls within the early voting period for at least 4 hours, to be established by the clerk. A clerk may choose to offer Sunday hours as well. 

New Jersey
N.J.S.A.§19:63-6

45 days before election (in-person absentee)

3 p.m. the day before election

Office of the county clerk

Not specified

New Mexico
N.M.S.A. §1-6-5(G)

Third Saturday before election

Saturday before election

Clerks’ offices and:

Class A counties with more than 200,000 registered voters: clerk must establish at least 12 alternate locations

Class A counties with 200,000 or fewer registered voters: clerk must establish at least 4 alternate locations

Non-class A counties with more than 10,000 registered voters: clerk must establish at least one alternate location

Non-class A counties with 10,000 or fewer registered voters: clerk’s office and alternate locations as designated by clerk

Hours are set by the clerk, and must begin no earlier than 7 a.m. and end no later than 9 p.m.

Each alternate location must be open for at least eight consecutive hours on each day of early voting, and may be closed on Sundays and Mondays

New York
Election Law Title VI, §8-600

10th day before election Second day before an election At least one early voting location for every full increment of 50,000 registered voters in each county, but not more than seven are required. Counties with fewer than 50,000 registered voters shall have at least one early voting location. Counties and the city of New York may choose to establish more than the minimum required. Early voting sites shall be located so that voters have adequate and equitable access.

Open for at least eight hours between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. each weekday during the early voting period.

At least one early voting site shall be open until 8 p.m. on at least two weekdays in each calendar week during the early voting period. 

Open for at least five hours between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on each Saturday, Sunday and legal holiday during the early voting period.

Boards of elections may establish a greater number of hours for voting during the early voting period beyond what is required.

North Carolina
N.C.G.S.A. §163A-1300 to  §163A-1304

Third Wednesday before election

7 p.m. on the last Friday before election

Office of county board of elections

The county board of elections may choose to offer additional locations, subject to approval by the state board of elections. All sites must be open during the same days and hours.

Monday through Friday during regular business hours at the county board of elections. A county board may conduct early voting on weekends.

If the county board of elections opens early voting sites on Saturdays or Sundays during the early voting period, then all sites shall be open for the same number of hours uniformly throughout the county on those days.

There are exceptions for counties with islands that contain no bridges to the mainland. 

North Dakota
NDCC §16.1-07-15

15 days before election

Day before election

At the discretion of county auditor

The county auditor chooses and publishes the hours

Ohio
Note: Uniform statewide schedule is set by the secretary of state: 2018 Voting Schedule here

28 days before election (in-person absentee)

2 p.m. Monday before election

Main office of board of elections

Board may conduct voting at a branch office only under certain conditions

8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with some extended evening hours in the week prior to the election

8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday

1-5 p.m. on the Sunday before Election Day

Oklahoma
§26-14-115.4

Thursday preceding an election (in-person absentee)

2 p.m. on the Saturday before election

At a location designated by the county election board. For counties of more than 25,000 registered voters or with an area of more than 1,500 sq. miles, more than one location may be designated

8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday and Monday

8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday

South Dakota
S.D.C.L. §12-19-2.1

45 days before election (in-person absentee)

5 p.m. the day before the election

Office of the person in charge of elections

Regular office hours

Tennessee
Tenn. Code §2-6-102(a)(1)

20 days before election

Five days before election (seven days for a presidential preference primary)

County election commission office

Offices must be open a minimum of three consecutive hours on weekdays and Saturdays between 8 a.m.-6 p.m. during the early voting period

On at least three days, offices must be open between 4:30-7 p.m., and on at least one Saturday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Texas
Tex. Elec. Code §85.001and 85.002

17 days before election

Four days prior to election

In a room in the offices of the county clerk, or elsewhere as determined by the clerk

Each county has one main early voting center

During business hours on weekdays unless:

Fewer than 1,000 voters, in which case three hours per day, or

More than 100,000 voters, in which case 12 hours per day during the last week

Utah
Utah Code §20A-3-601

14 days before election

Friday before election, though an election official may choose to extend the early voting period to the day before the election

In government offices as determined by election officer

At least four days per week, and on the last day of the EV period.

The election officer may elect to conduct early voting on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday.

Vermont
Tit. 17, §2531 thru 2537

45 days before election (in-person absentee)

5 p.m. day before election

Offices of town clerks

Clerks may make “mobile polling stations” available

Not specified

Virginia
VA Code Ann. § 24.2-701.1

(Note: goes into effect in 2020)

The second Saturday before the election for all registered voters (45 days before for those with a valid excuse) 5 p.m. Saturday before election Office of the general registrar. Additional locations in public buildings may be provided at local discretion.

Regular business hours.

A minimum of eight hours between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on the two Saturdays before the election.

West Virginia
W.V. Code §3-3-3

And SB 581

13 days before election

Three days before election

Courthouse or the annex next to the courthouse

County commission may designate additional areas, subject to requirements prescribed by the Secretary of State

Must be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays through EV period

Wisconsin
Wis. Code §6.86(1)(b)

14 days preceding the election (in-person absentee)

Sunday preceding the election

Clerks’ offices

A municipality shall specify the hours.

Wyoming
Wyo. Stat. §22-9-105 and 125

40 days before election (in-person absentee)

Day before election

County clerks’ offices

Courthouse or other public building

Must be open regular hours on normal business days

Additionally, three states have all-mail voting. Every eligible voter is sent a ballot that can be returned by mail, or dropped off at a voter center or similar location during the early voting period.

States With All Mail Voting
State Early Voting Begins Early Voting Ends Locations Hours and Days
Colorado
C.R.S. §1-5-102
Voter service and polling centers must be open 15 days before an election. Day of election. Determined by county election officials. Every day but Sunday during the early voting period. Normal business hours (but may be expanded by county board of commissioners).
Oregon
§254.470, Secretary of State Rules
Dropsites must open the Friday before an election, but may open as soon as ballots are available (18 days before). Day of election. Election offices or other staffed locations (libraries, city halls, etc.) or outdoor mailboxes (drive-by or walking traffic). Normal business hours.
Washington
RCW §29A.40.160
Vote centers must be open 18 days before an election. 8 p.m. on day of election. Election offices or other locations designated by the county auditor. Normal business hours.

At least one U.S. territory, the U.S. Virgin Islands, has provisions for early voting. 

Early Voting in U.S. Territories
Territory Early Voting Begins Early Voting Ends Locations Hours and Days
U.S. Virgin Islands
18 V.I.C. §94a
14 days before an election. 3 days before an election. Permanent main or branch office of the supervisor of elections for the district. The supervisor of elections may also designate public or government-owned facilities. However, these sites must be geographically located so as to provide all electors in the district an equal opportunity to cast a ballot, insofar as is practicable. No less than eight hours and no more than 12 hours per day at each site.

If you have further questions or comments please contact the NCSL Election Team.

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