Table 7: When States Mail Out Absentee/Mail Ballots

7/12/2022

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.

After a voter has applied for an absentee/mail ballot and that application has been verified, election officials mail out the ballots. In general, states begin mailing absentee/mail ballots during one of four different time frames, as noted below (note that a few states do not specify start dates for mailing ballots).

As absentee ballot applications come in, election officials continue mailing out ballots throughout the run-up to the election, either for a designated period or right up until Election Day.

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

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

The table below shows when election officials can begin mailing out absentee/mail ballots in each state.

State When Election Officials Can Start Mailing Out Ballots
Alabama 45 days before the election.

Alaska

SOS website

25 days before the election.

Arizona

A.R.S. § 16-542

24 to 27 days before the election.

Arkansas

A.C.A. § 7-5-407

46 days before the election.

California

West's Ann.Cal.Elec.Code § 4101

29 days before the election.

Colorado

C.R.S.A. § 1-7.5-107

18-22 days before the election.

Connecticut

C.G.S.A. § 9-140

31 days before the election.

Delaware

15 Del.C. § 5504

60 days before the election.
District of Columbia Not specified.

Florida

West's F.S.A. § 101.62

33 to 40 days before the election.

Georgia

Ga. Code Ann., § 21-2-384

25 to 29 days before the election.

Hawaii

HRS § 11-102

The start date is not specified, but ballots must be received by voters at least 18 days before the election.

Idaho

I.C. § 34-1003

45 days before the election.

Illinois

10 ILCS 5/19-4

40 days before the election.
Indiana 45 days before the election.

Iowa

I.C.A. § 53.8

20 days before the election.

Kansas

K.S.A. 25-433

20 days before the election.

Kentucky

KRS § 117.085

50 days before the election.

Louisiana

LSA-R.S. 18:1308.2

45 days before the election.

Maine

21-A M.R.S.A. § 752

30 days before the election.
Maryland 40 days before the election.

Massachusetts

M.G.L.A. 54 § 25B

30 days before the election.

Michigan

M.C.L.A. 168.714

45 days before the election.

Minnesota

SOS website

46 days before the election.

Mississippi

Miss. Code Ann. § 23-15-629

40 days before the election.

Missouri

V.A.M.S. 115.302

42 days before the election.

Montana

MCA 13-13-205

25 days before election.

Nebraska

Neb.Rev.St. § 32-808

35 days before the election.

Nevada

N.R.S. AB 321, § 3

Not specified.
New Hampshire 30 days before the election.

New Jersey

N.J.S.A. 19:62-2

45 days before the election.

New Mexico

N. M. S. A. 1978, § 1-6-5

28 days before the election.
New York 32 days before the election.

North Carolina

N.C.G.S.A. § 163-227.10

60 days before the election.

North Dakota

NDCC, 16.1-07-04

40 days before the election.

Ohio

R.C. § 3509.01, 3503.19

29 days before the election.

Oklahoma

26 Okl.St.Ann. § 14-118

45 days before the election.

Oregon

O.R.S. § 254.470

20 days before the election.

Pennsylvania

25 P.S. § 3146.2a

50 days before the election.

Puerto Rico

16 L.P.R.A. § Section 9.36.-

Not specified.

Rhode Island

Gen.Laws 1956, § 17-20-10.2

45 days before the election.

South Carolina

SOS website

30 days before the election.

South Dakota

SOS website

46 days before the election.

Tennessee

T. C. A. § 2-6-202

90 days before the election.

Texas

V.T.C.A., Election Code § 86.004

45 days before the election.

Utah

U.C.A. 1953 § 20A-3a-202

21 days before the election.

Vermont

17 VSA § 2537a

43 days before the election.

Virgin Islands

18 V.I.C. § 664

Not specified.

Virginia

SOS website

45 days before the election.

Washington

West's RCWA 29A.40.070

18 days before the election.

West Virginia

W. Va. Code, § 3-3-5(e)(1)

46 days before the election.

Wisconsin

W.S.A. 7.15

47 days before the election.

Wyoming

W.S.1977 § 22-9-107

45 days before the election.