VOPP: Table 7: When States Mail Out Absentee Ballots

4/29/2020

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

After a voter has applied for an absentee ballot and that application has been verified, election officials mail out the absentee ballots. In general, states begin mailing absentee ballots during one of four different time frames, as noted below. As absentee ballot applications come in, they continue mailing out ballots throughout the run-up to the election.

  • Eight states begin mailing absentee ballots to voters more than 45 days before the election: Arkansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
  • Fifteen states begin mailing absentee ballots to voters 45 days before the election: Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming.
  • Twelve states begin mailing absentee ballots to voters 30-45 days before the election: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina.
  • Fifteen states mail absentee ballots to voters fewer than 30 days before the election: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

Note that in Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington, all voters are mailed ballots.

The table below shows the specific timelines for mailing out ballots in each state.

State When Are Ballots Mailed Out?
Alabama 45 days before the election.
Alaska 25 days before the election.
Arizona 24-27 days before the election.
Arkansas 46 days before the election.
California 31 days before the election.
Colorado 22 days before the election.
Connecticut 31 days before the election.
Delaware 45 days before the election.
District of Columbia Not specified.
Florida 28 to 35 days before the election.
Georgia 45 days before the election.
Hawaii 20 days before the election.
Idaho 45 days before the election.
Illinois 40 days before the election.
Indiana 45 days before the election.
Iowa 28 days before the election.
Kansas 20 days before the election.
Kentucky 50 days before the election.
Louisiana 45 days before the election.
Maine 30 days before the election.
Maryland 21 days before the election.
Massachusetts 21 days before the election.
Michigan 45 days before the election.
Minnesota 46 days before the election.
Mississippi 40 days before the election.
Missouri 42 days before the election.
Montana 25 days before election.
Nebraska 35 days before the election.
Nevada 20 days before the election.
New Hampshire 30 days before the election.
New Jersey 45 days before the election.
New Mexico 22 days before the election.
New York 32 days before the election.
North Carolina 60 days before the election.
North Dakota 40 days before the election.
Ohio 35 days before the election.
Oklahoma 45 days before the election.
Oregon 20 days before the election.
Pennsylvania 45 to 50 days before the election.
Rhode Island 45 days before the election.
South Carolina 30 days before the election.
South Dakota 46 days before the election.
Tennessee 45 days before the election.
Texas 45 days before the election.
Utah 21 days before the election.
Vermont 45 days before the election.
Virginia 45 days before the election.
Washington 18 days before the election.
West Virginia 46 days before the election.
Wisconsin 47 days before the election.
Wyoming 45 days before the election.