State Laws Governing Early Voting

10/2/2020

This resource is intended to reflect permanent state law. Many states have made changes to election policies that will only be in effect for the 2020 election. Please see Absentee and Mail Voting Policies in Effect for the 2020 Election for more information.

Our organization does not run elections and cannot provide legal advice. If you are a voter looking for assistance, please contact your local election official. You can find your local election official's website and contact information by using this database from the US Vote Foundation.

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 43 states and the District of Columbia that offer this option. Delaware has enacted early voting but it will not be in place until 2022. Six states do not offer pre-Election Day in-person voting options: Connecticut, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, and South Carolina,

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.

early voting 50-state map

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.

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 on Voting Outside the Polling Place, 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
Alabama Fifty-five days before the election (in-person absentee only) 5 p.m. day prior to election Absentee Election Manager offices Not specified

Alaska
AS §15.20.064, 15.20.045 and 6 AAC 25.500

Fifteen 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

Twenty-six 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

Fifteen 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

Twenty-nine 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 eight hours per day. Polling sites must open at 7 a.m. on at least five 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

Seven 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

Ten 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 

Three days before election

May end two 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 eight 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

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

Fortieth 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 15tth 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. -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 eight 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

Twenty-eight 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)

Twenty-nine 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

Twenty 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

Fourteen days before election Seven 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

Monday, Oct. 26 (2020 only)

Monday, Nov. 2 (2020 only)

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

7 a.m.-8 p.m. (2020 general 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

Forty-six 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

Thirty days before election (in-person absentee)

Day before election

Elections offices

Not specified

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

Thirty days before each 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 eight hours a day, to be established by the clerk. Any Saturday that falls within the early voting period for at least four 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

Forty-five 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

Tenth 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.-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. §163-227.2

Third Thursday before election

3 p.m. on the last Saturday 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

Fifteen 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: 2020 voting schedule here

Twenty-eight 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 square 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

Pennsylvania

25 P.S. § 3146.2a

Fifty days before election (in-person absentee) 5 p.m. first Tuesday prior to day of election Local board of elections During regular business hours

Rhode Island

§17-20-2.2

Twenty days before election (in-person absentee) Day before election At local boards of canvassers During regular business hours

South Dakota
S.D.C.L. §12-19-2.1

Forty-five 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)

Twenty days before election

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

County election commission office or other location(s) designated by the county election commission. 

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. in counties with a population of over 150,000.

Texas
Tex. Elec. Code §85.001and 85.002

Seventeen 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

Vermont
Tit. 17, §2531 thru 2537

Forty-five 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

 

Forty-five days before election 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.-5 p.m. on the two Saturdays before the election.

West Virginia
W.V. Code §3-3-3

And SB 581

Thirteen 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)

Fourteen 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

Forty 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, five 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).

Hawaii

HRS § 11-131

Ten business days prior to Election Day. 7 p.m. on Election Day Voter Service Centers Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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.

Utah
Utah Code §20A-3-601

Fourteen 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.

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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