Table 8: How States Verify Absentee Ballot Applications

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.

Absentee/mail ballot applications require voters to provide identifying information—name, address, date of birth and often a signature, driver’s license number or the final four digits of the voter’s social security number.

When election officials receive an application from a voter, they use that information to verify the voter’s identity and eligibility before sending out the ballot. This is done in a variety of ways, but most commonly by verifying the applicant’s information in the statewide voter registration database. States may also conduct signature verification at this stage to compare the voter’s signature on the application with the voter registration signature. This verification step is meant to ensure that it is in fact the voter who is requesting the absentee/mail ballot.

A few states may require additional information at the time of application, such as a copy of ID or notary signature, to confirm the voter’s identity and eligibility. Sixteen states also require voters to provide an excuse to qualify for an absentee/mail ballot. For more information on eligible excuses, see Table 2: Excuses to Vote Absentee.

State

What Additional Information Must Voters Provide?

How Is the Application Verified?

Alabama

Ala. Code § 17-11-5

Excuse and copy of ID.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration.

Alaska

Alaska Stat. § 15.20.081

None.

None; ballot issued upon receipt of application.

Arkansas

Ark. Code § 7-5-404

Excuse.

Signature, information and eligibility checked against voter registration record.

Arizona

Ariz. Rev Stat § 16-550

None.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration record.

California

N/A

N/A

Colorado

N/A

N/A

Connecticut

Conn. Gen Stat § 9-140

Excuse.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration.

Delaware

15 DE Code § 5504

Excuse.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration.

District of Columbia

D.C. Mun. Regs. Tit. 3, § 720.5

None.

None; ballot issued upon receipt of application.

Florida

Flor. Stat §101.62

None.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration.

Georgia

Ga. Code Ann., § 21-2-381

None.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration record.

Hawaii

N/A

N/A

Idaho

Idaho Code § 34-1003

None.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration record.

Illinois

10 ILCS 5/19-4

None.

Signature, information and eligibility checked against voter registration record.

Indiana

Ind. Code § 3-11-4-17.5

Excuse

Signature, information and eligibility checked against voter registration record.

Iowa

I.C.A. § 53.2

N/A

Signature, information and eligibility checked against voter registration.

Kansas

Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-1122

None.

Signature, information and eligibility checked against voter registration record.

Kentucky

KRS § 117.085

Excuse and copy of ID.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration.

Louisiana

LSA-R.S. 18:1307

Excuse.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration and documentation provided by the applicant as to the reason for the request.

Maine

21-A ME Rev Stat § 753-B

None.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration.

Maryland

Md. Elec Law Code §

9-306

None.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration.

Massachusetts

Mass. Gen L ch 54 § 91

Excuse.

Signature, information and eligibility checked against voter registration record.

Michigan

Mich. Comp L § 168.761

None.

Signature, information and eligibility checked against voter registration record.

Minnesota

Minn. Stat § 203B.06

None.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration.

Mississippi

Miss. Code Ann. § 23-15-715

Excuse and notarized application (only a witness signature is needed if the voter is temporarily or permanently disabled).

 Notarized application taken as proof of voter’s identity.

Missouri

Missouri Rev Stat § 115.287

Excuse.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration.

Montana

Mont. Code § 13-13-213

None.

Signature, information and eligibility checked against voter registration record.

Nebraska

Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. §32-947

None.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration.

Nevada

N/A

N/A

New Hampshire

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 657:12

Excuse.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration record.

New Jersey

NJ Rev Stat § 19:63-8

None.

Signature, information and eligibility checked against voter registration record.

New Mexico

NM Stat § 1-6-5

None.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration.

New York

NY Election Law § 8-402(1)

Excuse.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration.

North Carolina

NC Gen Stat § 163-230.2

None.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration.

North Dakota

ND Cent. Code 16.1-07-08

None.

None; ballot issued upon receipt of application.

Ohio

Ohio Rev Code § 3509.04

None.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration.

Oklahoma

26 OK Stat § 26-14-106

None.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration.

Oregon

N/A

N/A

Pennsylvania

25 PA Cons Stat § 3146.2b

None.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration record.

Rhode Island

Gen. Laws § 17-20-10

None.

Signature, information and eligibility checked against voter registration record.

South Carolina

S.C. Code § 7-15-340

Excuse and signed oath.

Signed oath taken as proof of voter’s identity. Any person who fraudulently applies for an absentee ballot is guilty of a misdemeanor.

South Dakota

SD Codified Law § 12-19-2 et seq.

Signed and notarized oath or copy of photo ID.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration.

Tennessee

Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-6-202

Excuse.

Signature, information and eligibility checked against voter registration record.

Texas

Texas Elec. Code § 86.001

Excuse.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration.

Utah

N/A

N/A

Vermont

N/A

N/A

Virginia

VA Code § 24.2-706

None.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration.

Washington

N/A

N/A

West Virginia

W. Va. § 3-3-5

Excuse.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration.

Wisconsin

Wis. Stat. § 6.87(1)

Copy of ID.

Ballot application information verified with enclosed ID.

Wyoming

WY Stat § 22-9-106

None.

Information and eligibility checked against voter registration.