VOPP: Table 1: States with No-Excuse Absentee Voting

5/1/2020

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 table is part of NCSL’s Voting Outside the Polling Place report.

“Absentee” first came about during the Civil War as a way for soldiers to cast a ballot in their home states. The idea of allowing military voters to cast a ballot “in absentia” is still one of the driving factors for states allowing absentee ballots. All states, by federal law, are required to send absentee ballots to military and overseas voters for federal elections.

For domestic voters wishing to vote absentee or by mail, 16 states require voters to provide an “excuse” for why they will not be able to vote on Election Day. Some of these states do provide early in-person voting.

The other 34 states and Washington, D.C., do not require an excuse from those who wish to vote absentee or by mail. Five states conduct elections entirely by mail (Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington), which means voters do not need to request a ballot, and instead automatically receive one. The other 29 states and D.C. offer “no-excuse” absentee voting, which means any voter can request a mail ballot without providing an excuse.

State Details

Alaska

Alaska Stat. § 15.20.010
No-excuse absentee voting

Arizona

Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-541
No-excuse absentee voting

California

Cali. Elec Code § 3003
No-excuse absentee voting

Colorado

Colo. Rev. Stat. §1-5-401
All-mail elections

District of Columbia

D.C. Mun. Regs. Tit. 3, § 720
No-excuse absentee voting

Florida

Flor. Stat. § 101.62
No-excuse absentee voting

Georgia

Georgia Code § 21-2-380
No-excuse absentee voting

Hawaii

Hawaii Stat. §11-101
All-mail elections

Idaho

Idaho Code §34-1001
No-excuse absentee voting

Illinois

10 ILCS 5/19-1
No-excuse absentee voting

Iowa

Iowa Code § 53.1
No-excuse absentee voting

Kansas

Kan. Stat. Ann.§ 25-1119(a)
No-excuse absentee voting

Maine

21-A ME Rev Stat § 751
No-excuse absentee voting

Maryland

Md. Elec Law §9-304
No-excuse absentee voting

Michigan

M.C.L.A. 168.759
No-excuse absentee voting

Minnesota

Minn. Stat. § 203B.02
No-excuse absentee voting

Montana

Mont. Code § 13-13-201
No-excuse absentee voting

Nebraska

Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. §32-938
No-excuse absentee voting

Nevada

NRS §293.313
No-excuse absentee voting

New Jersey

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 19:63-3
No-excuse absentee voting

New Mexico

N.M. Stat. § 1-6-3
No-excuse absentee voting

North Carolina

N.C. Gen Stat § 163-226
No-excuse absentee voting

North Dakota

N.D. Cent. Code § 16.1-07-01
No-excuse absentee voting

Ohio

Ohio Rev Code § 3509.02
No-excuse absentee voting

Oklahoma

26 OK Stat § 26-14-105
No-excuse absentee voting

Oregon

Ore. Rev. Stat. §254.465
All-mail elections

Pennsylvania

25 P.S. § 3150.11
No-excuse absentee voting

Rhode Island

R.I. Gen Laws § 17-20-2

No-excuse absentee voting

 

(Rhode Island lists several excuses to vote absentee, but also specifies “No specific reason necessary.” Since any Rhode Islander can request an absentee ballot, NCSL has categorized it as no excuse required.)

South Dakota

S.D. Cod. Laws § 12-19-1
No-excuse absentee voting

Utah

Utah Code Ann. §20A-3a-302
All-mail elections

Vermont

17 VSA § 2531
No-excuse absentee voting

Virginia

VA Code Ann. § 24.2-700
No-excuse absentee voting

Washington

Rev. Code of Wash. 29A.40.010
All-mail elections

Wisconsin

Wis. Stat. § 6.86 (1)(ac)
No-excuse absentee voting

Wyoming

WY Stat § 22-9-102
No-excuse absentee voting