VOPP: Table 4: State Laws on Removing Voters From Permanent Absentee Lists

4/20/2020

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.

Five states (Arizona, California, Minnesota, Montana and New Jersey) and the District of Columbia permit voters to join a permanent absentee ballot list. Once voters have become permanent absentee voters, they are automatically mailed a ballot for subsequent elections. Below is a summary of the ways in which 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.

California

Elec. Code §3206
If the voter fails to return an executed vote by mail ballot in four consecutive statewide general elections, the voter's name shall be deleted from the list.

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.

Minnesota

Minn. Stat. §203B.04

A voter's permanent absentee status ends and automatic ballot application delivery must be terminated on:

(1) The voter's written request.

(2) The voter's death.

(3) Return of an absentee ballot as undeliverable.

(4) A change in the voter's status to “challenged” or “inactive” in the statewide voter registration system.

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.