Table 4: Removing Voters From Permanent Absentee Lists

1/3/2022

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.

Five states (Arizona, Maryland, Montana, New Jersey and Virginia) and Washington, D.C., permit any voter to join a permanent absentee ballot list. Once voters have become permanent absentee voters, they are automatically mailed a ballot for subsequent elections. The table below summarizes how a voter who is on the permanent ballot list can be removed.

State When Is a Voter Removed from the Permanent Absentee List?

Arizona

Ariz. Rev. Stat. §16-544(H)

After a voter has requested to be included on the permanent early voting list, the voter shall be sent an early ballot by mail automatically for any election at which a voter at that residence address is eligible to vote until any of the following occurs:

1. The voter requests in writing to be removed from the permanent early voting list.

2. The voter's registration or eligibility for registration is moved to inactive status or canceled as otherwise provided by law.

3. The notice sent by the county recorder or other officer in charge of elections is returned undeliverable and the county recorder or officer in charge of elections is unable to contact the voter to determine the voter's continued desire to remain on the list.

4. The voter fails to vote an early ballot in all elections for two consecutive election cycles. For the purposes of this paragraph, “election” means any regular primary or regular general election for which there was a federal race on the ballot or for which a city or town candidate primary or first election or city or town candidate second, general or runoff election was on the ballot. 

District of Columbia

D.C. Mun. Regs. Tit. 3, § 720.4

A duly registered voter's request to permanently receive an absentee ballot shall be honored until:

(a) The voter submits a written request to no longer receive absentee ballots.

(b) The voter is no longer a qualified elector.

(c) Any mail sent to the voter is returned to the board as undeliverable.

(d) The voter fails to return a voted absentee ballot for two back-to-back elections in which he or she is eligible to vote.

Maryland

Md. Code, Elec. Law § 9-311.1

A voter who has permanent absentee ballot status shall be removed from the permanent absentee ballot list if:
(1) the voter requests to be removed from the list;
(2) the voter is removed from the statewide voter registration list under Title 3, Subtitle 5 of this article;
(3) the voter fails to return an absentee ballot for two consecutive statewide general elections; or
(4) any mail sent to the voter by the State Board or a local board is returned undeliverable.

Montana

M.C.A. §13-13-212

An elector may request to be removed from the absentee ballot list for subsequent elections by notifying the election administrator in writing.

 

The election administrator shall biennially mail a forwardable address confirmation form to each elector who is listed in the national change of address system of the U.S. Postal Service as having changed the elector's address.

 

If the form is not completed and returned or if the elector does not respond using the options provided in subsection (4)(b)(v), the election administrator shall remove the elector from the absentee ballot list.

New Jersey

N.J.S.A. 19:63-3
The qualified voter who chooses the option to vote using a mail-in ballot in all future elections shall be furnished with such a ballot by the county clerk without further request on the part of the voter and until the voter requests in writing that the voter no longer be sent a mail-in ballot.

Virginia

VA Code 24.2-703.1

 A voter shall be removed from the permanent absentee voter list if (i) the voter requests in writing to be removed from the list, (ii) the voter's registration is canceled pursuant to § 24.2-427, (iii) the voter's registration is placed on inactive status pursuant to § 24.2-428 or 24.2-428.1, or (iv) the voter moves to a different address not in the same county or city of his registration.