Advertisement

Absentee Voting For Travelers: Instructions and Deadlines

by on October 22, 2012 · 11 comments

in Points Guy Pointers

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

In the frenzy of award booking that led up to the launch of the new British Airways Avios program last November, I booked a Cathay Pacific first class award for early November of 2012. I had actually somewhat forgotten about the award up until a couple weeks ago and I’m at the point where I need to use it or pay $40 to get the Avios back- though it’ll be my last chance to fly Cathay First class at the old British Airway rate 75,000 miles each way (nowadays the same award will cost 105,000 Avios since the new chart is distance based). Now that I’m set on Asia, I’ll be away for Election Day (November 6)! I obviously want to cast my vote – especially since Florida is a battleground state and every vote matters, but I won’t actually be on the ground to do so, so I wanted to look into voting by mail and getting an absentee ballot. I figured the information would be useful to many readers as well since many of you are on the road as much (or more) as I am!

In most cases you can request an absentee ballot in person, by telephone, by mail, online, or through other written requests such as an email if you are a member of the military and are overseas. You can also designate an immediate family member or legal guardian to submit the request on your behalf. The necessary information needed to receive an absentee ballot is the name of the voter, the voter’s address, date of birth and signature.

In 21 states you must provide an excuse for voting by absentee ballot. These states include:
Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

In the remaining 27 states and the District of Columbia no excuse is necessary:
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

I found longdistancevote.org to be a really helpful site with deadlines and instructions for the entire absentee voting process for each state. The procedure for each state varies, so look below for your specific state:

ALABAMA
Voter registration form: Postmarked on or before October 26, 2012
Absentee ballot application: Received on or before November 1, 2012
Absentee ballot due: Postmarked by the day before the election and received by noon on Election Day if mailed; received by 5:00 p.m. on the day before the election if hand-delivered

ALASKA
Voter registration form: Received on or before October 6, 2012
Absentee ballot application: Received on or before October 27, 2012
Voted absentee ballot: Postmarked on or before Election Day, November 6, 2012

ARIZONA
Voter Registration Form: Received by October 9, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received by 5pm October 26, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 7pm on Election Day, November 6, 2012

ARKANSAS
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked on or before October 9, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received by October 31, 2012, if sent by mail or fax; Received by close of business on November 5, 2012 if delivered in person
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 7:30 p.m. on November 6, 2012 if sent by mail; received by close of business on November 5, 2012 if delivered in person

CALIFORNIA
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked on or before October 22, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received on or before October 30, 2012 (by mail); no deadline in person
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 8:00 pm on November 6, 2012

COLORADO
Voter Registration Form: Received on or before October 9, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received on or before October 30, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by the close of polls on Election Day, November 6, 2012

CONNECTICUT
Voter registration: Postmarked on or before October 23, 2012 (via mail), or on or before October 30, 2012 (in person)
Absentee ballot application: No specific deadline. We recommend requesting your ballot at least one month before the election
Absentee ballot due: Received by 8:00 p.m. on November 6, 2012, if submitting via mail; received on or before November 5 if submitting in person

DELAWARE
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked on or before October 13, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received on or before November 2, 102
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 12:00pm noon on November 5, 2012

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked on or before October 9 (by mail); on election day (in person)
Absentee Ballot Application: Received on or before October 30, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Postmarked on or before November 6, 2012, and received within ten days of Election Day

FLORIDA
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked on or before October 9, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received by 5pm on or before October 31, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 7pm Election Day

GEORGIA
Voter registration form: Postmarked on or before October 9, 2012
Absentee ballot application: No specific deadline. We recommend requesting your ballot at least one month before the election
Absentee ballot due: Received by close of polls on Election Day

HAWAII
Voter Registration Form: Received on or before October 9, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received by 4:30 pm on or before October 30, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by close of polls on Election Day

IDAHO
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked on or before October 12, 2012, or in person on Election Day
Absentee Ballot Application: Received on or before October 31, 2012
Absentee Ballot Due: Received by 8:00 pm on or before November 6, 2012, via mail. Deliver in person by 5:00 pm on November 2, 2012

ILLINOIS
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked on or before October 9, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received on or before November 1, 2012, (via mail); by November 5, 2012 (in person)
Voted Absentee Ballot: Postmarked no later than midnight, November 5, 2012, and received within 14 days of the election

INDIANA
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked on or before October 9, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received on or before October 29, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by close of polls on Election Day

IOWA
Voter Registration Form: Received on or before October 27, or postmarked on or before October 22 if received after the deadline. You may also vote in person on Election Day.
Absentee Ballot Application:Received by 5:00 pm on or before November 2, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Postmarked on or before November 5, 2012, and received by noon on the Tuesday after the election

KANSAS
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked on or before October 16, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received by November 2, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 7:00 pm on Election Day

KENTUCKY
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked on or before October 9, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received on or before October 30, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 6:00 PM on Election Day

LOUISIANA
Voter Registration Form: Received on or before October 9, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received no later than 4:30pm on November 2, 2012. If hospitalized, by 8pm on November 5, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 4:30 pm on November 5, 2012. If hospitalized, by 8pm on Election Day

MAINE
Voter Registration Form: Received on or before October 16, 2012. You may also register in person on Election Day.
Absentee Ballot Application: Received on or before November 1, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 8:00 PM on Election Day

MARYLAND
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked on or before October 16, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received on or before October 30, 2012 by 8:00 p.m. if requested in person or by mail, or by 11:59 p.m. if requested by fax or email
Voted Absentee Ballot: Delivered in person by 8:00 pm on November 6, 2012. Postmarked by November 6, 2012, and received by 10:00 a.m. on the 2nd Friday after the election

MASSACHUSETTS
Voter registration form: Postmarked on or before October 17, 2012
Absentee ballot application: Received by 12:00 pm noon on November 5, 2012
Voted absentee ballot: Received before 8:00 pm on Election Day, November 6, 2012

MICHIGAN
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked on or before October 9, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received by 2:00 pm November 3, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 8:00 PM on Election Day
First-time voters who register by mail must vote in person the first time they vote. 

MINNESOTA
Voter Registration: Received on or before October 16, 2012. You may also register in-person at the polls on Election Day as long as you can provide proof of residence
Absentee ballot application: No specific deadline. We recommend requesting your ballot at least one month before the election
Voted absentee ballot: Received by 3:00 PM on Election Day if mailed. Received by 5:00 p.m. on November 5, 2012, if delivered in person. You may also have someone else return your completed ballot, sealed in its envelope, to your local election official by 3:00 p.m. on Election Day (Persons delivering ballots may not do so for more than three voters)

MISSISSIPPI
Voter Registration: Postmarked on or before October 6, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: No specific deadline. We recommend requesting your ballot at least one month before an election
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 5:00 pm on November 5, 2012

MISSOURI
Voter Registration: Received on or before 5:00 or normal closing time, whichever is later, on October 10, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received by 5:00 pm on October 31, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 7:00 pm on Election Day if mailed, or by 5:00 pm on November 5, 2012, if casting absentee ballot in person

MONTANA
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked on or before October 9, 2012. You may also register in person up until Election Day
Absentee Ballot Application: Received by 12:00 pm noon on November 5, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received before close of polls on Election Day

NEBRASKA
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked on or before October 19, 2012. Delivered in person on or before October 26, 2012, at 6:00 pm
Absentee Ballot Application: Received by 4:00 pm on October 31, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 8:00 pm on November 6, 2012

NEVADA
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked on or before October 6, 2012. You can also register in-person until October 16, 2012.
Absentee Ballot Application: Received by 5:00 pm on October 30, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 7:00 pm on November 6, 2012

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Voter registration form: Received on or before October 27, 2012.  You can also register in person on Election Day
Absentee ballot application: No specific deadline. We recommend requesting your ballot at least one month before the election
Absentee ballot due: Received by 5:00 pm on Election Day, if mailed. Received by 5:00 pm on November 5, 2012, if delivered in person

NEW JERSEY
Voter Registration Form: Received on or before October 16, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received on or before October 30, 2012, via mail. Request in person by November 5, 2012, at 3:00 pm
Voted Absentee Ballot: received by 8pm on Election Day

NEW MEXICO
Voter registration form: Postmarked on or before October 9, 2012
Absentee ballot application: Received by 5:00 pm on November 2, 2012
Absentee ballot due: Received by 7:00 pm on Election Day

NEW YORK
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked by October 12, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Postmarked by October 30, 2012. Requested in person by November 5, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Postmarked by November 5, 2012, and received no later than the 7th day after the election. Delivered in person by close of polls on November 6, 2012

NORTH CAROLINA
Voter Registration: Received on or before October 12, 2012. You can also register in person and vote early during the “one-stop” voting period from October 18 – November 3, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received by 5:00 pm on October 30, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Postmarked by Election Day and received by 5:00 p.m. on the 3rd day after the election. Delivered in person by 5:00 p.m on November 5, 2012

NORTH DAKOTA
Voter registration: North Dakota is the only state in the US that does not require some form of voter registration
Absentee ballot application: No specific deadline. We recommend requesting your ballot at least one month before the election
Voted Absentee Ballot: Postmarked via mail or date-stamped via email or fax by November 5, 2012

OHIO
Voter Registration Form: Received on or before October 9, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received by 12:00 pm noon on November 3, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Delivered in person by the close of polls on Election Day. Postmarked on or before November 5, 2012, and received no later than 10 days after the election

OKLAHOMA
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked on or before October 12, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received by 5:00 pm on October 31, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 7:00 pm on Election Day

OREGON
Voter Registration: Postmarked on or before October 16, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: No specific deadline. We recommend requesting your ballot at least one month before the election
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 8:00 pm Election Day

PENNSYLVANIA
Voter Registration Form: Received on or before October 9, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received by 5:00 pm on October 30, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 5:00 pm on November 2, 2012

RHODE ISLAND
Voter Registration Form: Received on or before October 6, 2012. You may register to vote and vote on Election Day, but you will be allowed to vote only for the offices of President and Vice President, not in state, local or other federal races.
Absentee Ballot Application: Received on or before October 16, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 9:00 pm on Election Day

SOUTH CAROLINA
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked on or before October 6, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received by 5:00 pm November 2, 2012
Voted Absente Ballot: Received by 7:00 pm on Election Day

SOUTH DAKOTA
Voter Registration: Received on or before October 22, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received by 3:00 pm on Election Day (yes, really!)
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by close of polls on Election Day

TENNESSEE
Voter Registration: Postmarked on or before October 6, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received on or before October 30, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received via mail by close of polls on Election Day
First-time voters who register to vote by mail cannot vote by absentee ballot. These voters must vote in person.

TEXAS
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked on or before October 9, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received by close of business on October 30, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 7:00 pm on Election Day

UTAH
Voter Registration: Postmarked on or before October 9, 2012 (via mail).  Submitted in person or online by October 22, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received on or before November 2, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Postmarked on or before November 5, 2012, and received no later than noon of the day of the Official Canvass, which varies from one to 14 days after an election

VERMONT
Voter Registration: Received by 5pm on or before October 31, 2012
Absentee ballot application: Received by 5:00 pm or close of business on November 5, 2012
Voted absentee ballot: Received by 7:00 pm on Election Day

VIRGINIA
Voter Registration Deadline: Received on or before October 15, 2012
Earliest day to apply for an Absentee Ballot: 365 days before the election
Absentee Ballot Application Deadline: Received by 5:00 pm on October 30, 2012, if requested by mail. Received by November 3, 2012, if applying and casting absentee ballot in person
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 7:00 pm on Election Day
*If you register to vote by mail, you must vote in person the first time you vote unless you are a full time college student; on active duty military’ residing overseas; physically handicapped; or age 65+ (with another qualifying reason, as age alone is not a justification).  First-time voters who register in person may vote by absentee ballot.

WASHINGTON
Voter Registration, Address/Voter Information Update: Postmarked on or before October 6, 2012 (by mail). First-time voters may submit in person on or before October 29, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application:  No specific deadline for requesting an early ballot (all voters receive ballots via mail, beginning at least 18 days prior to the election). We recommend requesting your ballot at least one month before the election
Voted Absentee Ballot/Voted Ballots: Postmarked on or before Election Day

WEST VIRGINIA
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked on or before October 16, 2012
Absentee Ballot Application: Received on or before October 31, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Postmarked by Election Day and received by the Canvass Day, November 12, 2012

WISCONSIN
Voter Registration Form: Postmarked on or before October 17, 2012. You may also register in person on Election Day.
Absentee Ballot Application: Received by 5:00 pm on November 1, 2012
Voted Absentee Ballot: Delivered in person no later than Election Day or postmarked no later than Election Day and received no later than 4:00 pm on November 9, 2012

WYOMING
Voter Registration Form: Received on or before October 22, 2012. You may also register in person on Election Day
Absentee Ballot Application: No specific deadline, but you can’t apply on Election Day. We recommend requesting your ballot at least one month before the election
Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 7:00 pm on Election Day

Even if you’re not actually traveling on Election Day, registering for an absentee ballot can be a good idea to make sure you get your vote in. After all, things come up, you might have to get to work early or stay late, or any other myriad reasons that you might not make it to the polls, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to vote come Election Day!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Previous post:

Next post:

  • Jubin25

    great info.. very useful!

  • schmerj

    Great post! I used this site http://www.fvap.gov/ and ended up getting my ballot per e-mail from my county clerk in NJ!

  • KateFromCA

    I registered to vote absentee in every election. That way, I don’t have to remember to request my absentee ballot if I think I might be out of town. Very convenient.

  • MilesRunner

    What about early voting? I my Florida county there will be 10 days of voting before “Voting Day”. I will be in Hawaii on election day (it should be fun to watch from there!) so I will vote before I leave.

  • Chefplude

    Excellent. I registered years ago (WA state) & all my ballots are now by mail automatically. Should be everyone doing this; someday online will be available, but not yet.

  • Pingback: Absentee Voting For Vacationers: Instructions and Due dates - Income.ly()

  • BunMama

    I second the idea of early voting. Much less complicated that way.

  • RakSiam

    Many states have early voting/in-person absentee voting. I plan to vote early here in VA this week. Beats standing in line for hours on election day

  • Jmasihda

    OBAMA 2012

  • Bill

    ^^^SPAM^^^

  • Pingback: Shmooze News: PROPOSITIONS! « Smarty at the Party()

Print This Page