Traveling in November? Your complete guide to voting in the 2020 election

Sep 29, 2020

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The November election here in the U.S. is rapidly approaching, but just because Election Day falls on Nov. 3 doesn’t mean you need to cast your vote on that date. In fact, it may be impossible for some readers — thanks to deployments, essential travel or other unavoidable conflicts.

If you’ll be on the road in early November — or have concerns about voting during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — you’ve come to the right place. This guide provides everything you need to know about ensuring your voice is heard in 2020.

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In This Post

General resources

Before getting into the specifics for each state, there are a few general things to know. First, to cast your vote outside of Election Day, you need to be registered to vote. Fortunately, TPG’s parent company (Red Ventures) has partnered with VoteAmerica to make it easy for you to not only register to vote but also to check your voter registration status.

It’s critical to make sure all of your information is accurate in your state or county system — and to verify that you’re registered. Otherwise, you run the risk of having your vote discarded.

To check your registration status, visit this page and enter your information. You can also use the state-specific links provided below.

Also, it’s critical to understand what you need to either cast your vote in-person or request a ballot by mail. Again, VoteAmerica has a great resource here: a state-by-state breakdown of voter ID requirements for both live voting and vote-by-mail ballots.

The sooner you verify your registration status (or register in the first place) and start the process for voting by mail, the better.

Overview of the guide

Now let’s take a look at how this guide is organized. Below, you’ll find complete information on all the ways to vote outside of Election Day for each state, organized alphabetically. There are two key categories to know:

  1. Voting by mail: This allows voters to request, complete and mail in a ballot, and it’s frequently described as “absentee” voting — since you’ll be “absent” from the polls on Nov. 3. Other terms including “mail-in voting” and “vote by mail” — though note that each state sets its own policy on exactly who is eligible and what you need to do to vote this way.
  2. Early voting: Unlike voting by mail, this option typically involves visiting a physical polling place and casting your votes — just like you would on Election Day. The only difference? It happens prior to that day. Again, each state determines details on early voting policies, some only allow “in-person, absentee” voting (where you still must request an absentee ballot) and some don’t offer any early voting options at all.

For each state below, we’ll look at both categories — including key deadlines and other details to ensure your vote is counted this year.

Finally, it’s critical to note that the ongoing coronavirus outbreak may result in further updates or changes to the policies below. For example, some states continue to restrict hours of operation at election offices, so just because a state allows you to register or request a mail-in ballot in person doesn’t mean you will be able to do so.

Review the details for your state so you know exactly what to expect.

Alabama through Georgia

Alabama

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Monday, Oct. 19 (for in-person and online registrations) or postmarked by Monday, Oct. 19 (for mailed registrations)
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility
: Any registered voter is eligible, though you must submit an application and cite a generic reason for voting absentee.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Absentee Election Manager in your county by Thursday, Oct. 29, though emergency applications are accepted until 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Mailed ballots must be postmarked no later than Monday, Nov. 2 and received no later than noon on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3); hand-delivered ballots must be in the office of the Absentee Election Manager in your county by 5 p.m. local time on Monday, Nov. 2 for in-person drop-off

Early voting information: Not offered

More details:


Alaska

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Sunday, Oct. 4 for in-person and online registrations; must be postmarked by Saturday, Oct. 3 for mailed registrations
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter is eligible (no reason required), though you must submit an application.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Saturday, Oct. 24
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be postmarked on or before Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: Most in-person voting locations in the state start opening 15 days prior to the election; details will be posted on this page approximately one month prior to the election.

More details:


Arizona

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Monday, Oct. 5 for in-person and online registrations; must be postmarked by Monday, Oct. 5 for mailed registrations
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter is eligible (no reason required), though you must submit an application.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by county election officials by 7 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: Varies by county, but starts as early as Wednesday, Oct. 7 (27 days prior to election day) and runs through Friday, Oct. 30 at 5 p.m.

More details:


Arkansas

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Sunday, Oct. 4 for in-person and online registrations; must be postmarked by Sunday, Oct. 4 for mailed registrations
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter is eligible, though you must complete an application (warning: PDF link) and provide a reason — authorities have confirmed that concern over COVID risks is a valid reason for absentee voting.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be submitted by close of business Monday, Nov. 2 (in-person) or received by Tuesday, Oct. 27 (mailed applications)
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Hand-delivered ballots must be received by close of business on Monday, Nov. 2; mailed ballots must be received at clerk’s office by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: Varies by county, but is typically available Monday through Saturday starting Monday, Oct. 19 and running through 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2

More details:


California

Voter registration deadline: Must be postmarked or submitted electronically by Monday, Oct. 19 — though you can conditionally register to vote after this deadline
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Due to the coronavirus outbreak, all registered voters will be sent a vote-by-mail ballot for this year’s election — there’s no need to register. You can also sign up for new ballot tracking, so you can monitor the status of your mail-in ballot.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: N/A
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Hand-delivered ballots must be received or put in ballot drop boxes no later than the close of polls at 8 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3) for in-person or ballot drop box; mailed ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by county elections office no later than Friday, Nov. 20

Early voting details: N/A

More details:


Colorado

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Oct. 26 to receive a ballot in the mail — though you can register and vote in-person up to 7 p.m. on Election Day
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Every voter receives a mailed ballot.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: N/A
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by county clerk no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: N/A

More details:


Connecticut

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Tuesday, Oct. 27 for online registration — though you can visit your town’s Election Day Registration (EDR) location to register and vote in-person on Election Day (this page will have these locations for 2020 later in the fall)
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: All registered voters are eligible to vote by mail in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Tuesday, Oct. 27 (regular applications) — though you can submit an emergency application within 6 days of Election Day
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by the close of polls at 8 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: None offered

More details:


Delaware

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Saturday, Oct. 10
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Delaware has both absentee and vote-by-mail options, with the difference being that absentee normally requires a reason. However, all registered voters are eligible to vote absentee in 2020 due to COVID-19 (and should cite “I am sick, or temporarily or permanently physically disabled” as the reason for doing so). Functionally, voting absentee or voting by mail are essentially the same — and you can request either one through the state’s iVote portal.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Friday, Oct. 30 — though the Department of Elections recommends doing so at least one week prior to Election Day
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be returned to your county’s Department of Elections office by 8 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: None offered

More details:


Florida

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Monday, Oct. 5
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter is eligible (no reason required), and it can be done online at your county’s Supervisor of Elections’ website
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24 (10 days before election day)
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by your county’s Supervisor of Elections office no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: State law requires at least 8 days of early voting (must begin no later than Saturday, Oct. 24 and run until Saturday, Oct. 31), though individual counties can add Oct. 19–23 and Nov. 1 — details will be available on this page

More details:


Georgia

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Monday, Oct. 5
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: All registered voters are eligible (no reason required), though you must submit an absentee ballot application online — or download the application (warning: PDF link) and return by mail, by fax or in person.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by close of business on Friday, Oct. 30
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must arrive at county election office by Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: Three weeks (per state law) — locations and times available on this page

More details:


Hawaii through Maryland

Hawaii

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Monday, Oct. 5
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: As of 2020, all registered voters in Hawaii will automatically receive mail-in ballots a few weeks prior to Election Day.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: N/A
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: In-person voting is available at designated voter service centers from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (excluding Sundays) from Oct. 20 through Nov. 2.

More details:


Idaho

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9 for paper applications; must be received before midnight on Friday, Oct. 9 for online applications
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter (no reason required) can submit an absentee ballot application
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Friday, Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. — though emergency applications can be accepted from Thursday, Oct. 29 through 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by the county clerk by 8 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: Varies by county but typically runs from Monday, Oct. 19 through Friday, Oct. 30

More details:


Illinois

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Tuesday, Oct. 6 for in-person and mailed registrations; must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 18 for online registrations
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter is eligible (no reason required), though you must submit an application.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be postmarked no later than Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3) and received within 14 days of the election (Tuesday, Nov. 17)

Early voting details: Begins Thursday, Sept. 24 and runs through Monday, Nov. 2, though locations and hours vary by election authority — details will be posted on this page no later than Monday, Sept. 14

More details:


Indiana

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Monday, Oct. 5
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: You must submit an application and cite a specific reason (e.g. health, age, work).
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by county election officials no later than noon local time on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: Termed “in-person absentee voting” and runs from Tuesday, Oct. 6 through noon local time on Monday, Nov. 2 — locations and hours vary by county

More details:


Iowa

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Saturday, Oct. 24
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter (no reason required) can submit a request for absentee ballot (warning: PDF link).
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by county auditor no later than 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Hand-delivered ballots must be received by Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3); mailed ballots must be postmarked Monday, Nov. 2

Early voting details: Termed “absentee voting in person” and starts no earlier than Monday, Oct. 5 and runs through Monday, Nov. 2

More details:


Kansas

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Tuesday, Oct. 13
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any eligible voter (no reason required) can complete an application for a mail-in ballot (warning: PDF link)
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by county election official no later than Tuesday, Oct. 27
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be postmarked on or before Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3) and received by close of business on Friday, Nov. 6

Early voting details: Varies by county; in-person, advance voting can start as early as Wednesday, Oct. 14 but must start no later than Tuesday, Oct. 27 and ends at noon local time on Monday, Nov. 2

More details:


Kentucky

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by 4 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 5
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: All eligible voters can request absentee ballots in 2020 due to COVID-19 through this link, and while you must cite a reason, concerns over coronavirus is one such reason.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be postmarked by Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3) and received by county clerks no later than Friday, Nov. 6

Early voting details: Runs from Tuesday, Oct. 13 through Monday, Nov. 2

More details:


Louisiana

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Monday, Oct. 5 for in-person and mailed registrations; must be received by Tuesday, Oct. 13 for online registrations
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: You must apply online and cite a specific reason for voting by mail.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 4:30 p.m. Central Time on Friday, Oct. 30
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 4:30 p.m. Central Time Monday, Nov. 2

Early voting details: Runs from Tuesday, Oct. 20 through Tuesday, Oct. 27 (excluding Sunday, Oct. 25) from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. — locations available on this page

More details:


Maine

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Tuesday, Oct. 13 for mailed registrations; can also register in person during early voting and on Election Day
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter (no reason required) can submit an application online.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be requested online no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be returned to municipal clerk by 8 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: Termed “in-person absentee voting” and can be done by simply visiting your municipal clerk’s office — runs from Monday, Oct. 5 through Thursday, Oct. 29 (exact locations and hours vary by municipality)

More details:


Maryland

Voter registration deadline: Must be postmarked by Tuesday, Oct. 13 for mailed registrations; must be submitted by 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 13 for online registrations
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter (no reason required) can request a mail-in ballot.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Tuesday, Oct. 20, either online or at your local board of elections
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Hand-delivered ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3); mailed ballots must be postmarked by Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3) and received by the local board of elections by 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 13

Early voting details: Runs from Monday, Oct. 26 through Monday, Nov. 2 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

More details:


Massachusetts through New Jersey

Massachusetts

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Saturday, Oct. 24 for in-person/online registrations or postmarked by Saturday, Oct. 24 for mailed registrations
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter (no reason required) can submit a vote-by-mail application.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Wednesday, Oct. 28 — though authorities recommend submitting them no later than Tuesday, Oct. 20
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Hand-delivered ballots must be received on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3); mailed ballots must be postmarked by Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3) and received by Friday, Nov. 6

Early voting details: Runs from Oct. 17–30, though details vary by city/town. Full information will be posted on this page no later than Oct. 9.

More details:


Michigan

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Monday, Oct. 19 for online registrations; must be postmarked by Monday, Oct. 19 for mailed registrations; you can also register in-person at your city or township clerk’s office up until 8 p.m on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3).
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter (no reason required) can apply — and an application was mailed to every registered voter.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Friday, Oct. 30
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Mailed ballots must be postmarked by Monday, Nov. 2; hand-delivered ballots must be received by Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: No in-person, early voting — must request an absentee ballot and return it starting Thursday, Sept. 24

More details:


Minnesota

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Tuesday, Oct. 13 for mailed and online registrations; can also register in-person up through Election Day
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter (no reason required) can submit an application for an absentee ballot.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Monday, Nov. 2
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Mailed ballots must be postmarked by Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3); in-person ballots must be received by Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: Runs from Friday, Sept. 18 through Monday, Nov. 2, though contact your local county election office for details.

More details:


Mississippi

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Monday, Oct. 5 for in-person registrations; must be postmarked by Monday, Oct. 5 for mailed registrations
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: You must have a reason and submit a request with your local county election official; for eligibility, see pages 3-4 of this document (warning: PDF link).
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Monday, Nov. 2
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: In-person ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30; mailed ballots must be postmarked by Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3) and received by Tuesday, Nov. 10

Early voting details: None

More details:


Missouri

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Monday, Oct. 5 for online registrations; must be received by Wednesday, Oct. 7 for in-person registration; must be postmarked by Wednesday, Oct. 7 for mailed registrations
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter (no reason required) can request a mail-in ballot (warning: PDF link).
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 5 p.m. on Oct. 21
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3), and it must be notarized — see this page for notaries who have volunteered to do so free-of-charge

Early voting details: None

More details:


Montana

Voter registration deadline: Must be postmarked by Oct. 26 for mailed registrations; can also register in-person at your county election office (warning: PDF link) through the close of polls on Election Day
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter can request an absentee ballot (no reason required), though the exact distribution of ballots varies by county, so contact your local election office (warning: PDF link) for details.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: If required by your county, application for absentee ballot must be received by noon on Nov. 2
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: In-person, absentee voting runs from Oct. 5 through Nov. 2

More details:


Nebraska

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Friday, Oct. 16 for online registrations; must be postmarked by Friday, Oct. 16 for mailed registrations; must be completed by Friday, Oct. 23 for in-person registrations
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter is eligible (no reason required), though you must apply for a ballot (warning: PDF link).
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Oct. 23
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 8 p.m. Central Time / 7 p.m. Mountain Time on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: Runs from Oct. 5 through Nov. 2, though contact your local election official for full details

More details:


Nevada

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Tuesday, Oct. 6 for mailed registrations; must be received by Thursday, Oct. 29 for online registrations; can register in-person through Election Day
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: All registered voters are being sent a mail-in ballot in 2020, including prepaid postage; look up your county’s mailing date at this page.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: N/A
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Mailed ballots must be postmarked by Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3); hand-delivered ballots must be received before 7 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: Runs from Oct. 17–30 though varies by location; check this page for county-by-county information

More details:


New Hampshire

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Tuesday, Oct. 20, though this deadline may vary by county; can also register in-person on Election Day
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter can request an absentee ballot, and while an excuse is required, anyone can select “I am unable to vote in person due to concern for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).”
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Monday, Nov. 2
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: None

More details:


New Jersey

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Oct. 13
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: All registered voters will receive a mail-in ballot for the 2020 election.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: N/A
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Mailed ballots must be postmarked by Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3) and received by Nov. 10; hand-delivered ballots (including via secure drop boxes) must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: None

More details:


New Mexico through South Carolina

New Mexico

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Monday, Oct. 6 for online and mailed registrations; can also register in-person at your county clerk’s office through Saturday, Oct. 31
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter can request an absentee ballot online.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: Runs from Oct. 17–31, though contact your county clerk’s office more complete details

More details:


New York

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Friday, Oct. 9 for in-person and online registrations; must be postmarked by Oct. 9 and received by Wednesday, Oct. 14 for mailed registrations
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter can apply online, and while you need to cite a reason, it can be “temporary illness or physical disability” if you’re fearful of contracting COVID-19
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Online, email, fax and mailed applications must be received/postmarked by Tuesday, Oct. 27; in-person requests must be received by Nov. 3
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3) if delivering in-person; mailed ballots must be postmarked by Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3) and received no later than Tuesday, Nov. 10 (military ballots have until Nov. 16 to be received)

Early voting details: Runs from Oct. 24 through Nov. 1, though you should contact your local county board of elections for details.

More details:


North Carolina

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Monday, Oct. 6 for online and mailed registrations; can also register in-person at your county board of elections through Saturday, Oct. 31
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter (no excuse required), though must submit absentee request
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Hand-delivered ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3); mailed ballots must be postmarked on/before Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3) and received no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6.

Early voting details: Runs from Thursday, Oct. 15 through Saturday, Oct. 31; look up your details at this site.

More details:


North Dakota

Voter registration deadline: N/A; North Dakota is the only state in the country that doesn’t require voter registration (warning: PDF link)
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter is eligible (no excuse required), though you’ll need to submit an application.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Monday, Nov. 2
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: Runs from Monday, Oct. 19 through Monday, Nov. 2; look up your polling place using this tool for full details.

More details:


Ohio

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Monday, Oct. 5 for in-person and online registrations; must be postmarked by Monday, Oct. 5 for mailed registrations
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter is eligible (no reason required), though you must complete and submit an absentee ballot request.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Saturday, Oct. 31
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Mailed ballots must be postmarked no later than Monday, Nov. 2; hand-delivered ballots must be received by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: Runs from Tuesday, Oct. 6 through Mon. Nov 2 (full calendar at this page), though contact your county board of elections for full details.

More details:


Oklahoma

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Friday, Oct. 9 for in-person registrations; must be postmarked by Friday, Oct. 9 for mailed registrations
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter is eligible (no reason required), though you must submit a request
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3), and you must have your submitted absentee ballot notarized or provide a copy of your valid ID — see this page for full details on voter verification

Early voting details: Runs from Thursday, Oct. 28 through Saturday, Oct. 31 at your local county election board office.

More details:


Oregon

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Tuesday, Oct. 13 for in-person and online registrations; must be postmarked by Tuesday, Oct. 13 for mailed registrations
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: All registered voters receive a mail-in ballot two to three weeks prior to Election Day, though if you’ll be away from your home address during this time, you can submit an absentee ballot request form (warning: PDF link).
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: N/A
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: N/A

More details:


Pennsylvania

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Monday, Oct. 19 for in-person and online registrations; must be postmarked by Monday, Oct. 19 for mailed registrations
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter is eligible to vote by mail (no reason required), though you must apply to receive a mail-in ballot; absentee voting requests (for those who’ll be away from their homes) do require a reason.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be returned by 8 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: In-person, absentee voting runs from Monday, Sept. 14 through Monday, Nov. 2

More details:


Rhode Island

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Sunday, Oct. 4 for online registrations; must be postmarked by Saturday, Oct. 3 for mailed registrations; can also register in-person on Election Day, but this will only allow you to vote for president and vice president
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter (no reason required) can vote by mail, though you must complete and send an application (warning: PDF link) to your local board of canvassers.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 13
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: Runs from Wednesday, Oct. 14 through Monday, Nov. 2 during regular business hours at your local board of canvassers.

More details:


South Carolina

Voter registration deadline: Must be completed by Friday, Oct. 2 for in-person registrations; must be submitted by Sunday, Oct. 4 for online registrations; must be postmarked by Monday, Oct. 5 for mailed registrations
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter can vote absentee, though you must complete, print and submit an application to your county voter registration office and select “State of emergency” as your reason for the request.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: In-person, absentee voting runs from Monday, Oct. 5 through Monday, Nov. 2, though you must submit an application.

More details:


South Dakota through Wyoming

South Dakota

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Monday, Oct. 19 (no online registration option)
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter is eligible (no reason required), though you must complete, print and submit an application (warning: PDF link) to your local county election official and have it notarized or include a copy of your photo ID
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by your county election official on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3) with enough time to deliver your ballot to the voting precinct before the polls close

Early voting details: In-person, absentee voting runs from Friday, Sept. 18 through Monday, Nov. 2 at your local county auditor’s office, though you must still apply for this capability

More details:


Tennessee

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Monday, Oct. 5 for online and in-person registrations; must be postmarked by Monday, Oct. 5 for mailed registrations
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter is eligible, and while you do need to include a reason on the absentee ballot application (warning: PDF link), there are two that apply to COVID-19 and don’t require any documentation.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Tuesday, Oct. 27
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received prior to the close of polls on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: Runs from Wednesday, Oct. 14 through Thursday, Oct. 29, though check with your local election commission for full details

More details:


Texas

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Monday, Oct. 5 for online and in-person registrations; must be postmarked by Monday, Oct. 5 for mailed registrations
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Only available for select voters with specific conditions, who must certify that the application form (warning: PDF link) is accurate.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Friday, Oct. 23
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: Runs from Tuesday, Oct. 13 through Friday, Oct. 30, though contact your individual county’s administrator for details

More details:


Utah

Voter registration deadline: Must be received before 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23; can also register in-person during early voting or on Election day, but must bring two forms of ID to do so
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: All registered voters will be sent a ballot for the 2020 election, with some counties offering prepaid postage.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: N/A
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Mailed ballots must be postmarked by Monday, Nov. 2; hand-delivered ballots must be returned to a drop box location before 8 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: Runs from Friday, Oct. 23 through Friday, Oct. 30, though you should look up your specific details on this page

More details:


Vermont

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Tuesday, Nov. 3
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: All active, registered voters will receive a ballot by mail between Sept. 21 and Oct. 1
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: N/A
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be returned to the town clerk’s office before closing time on Monday, Nov. 2 or to your designated polling place before 7 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3), though authorities are recommending returning the ballot by Saturday, Oct. 24 to ensure it’s counted

Early voting details: In-person, absentee voting runs from Sept. 18 through Nov. 2

More details:


Virginia

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Tuesday, Oct. 13 for online and in-person registrations; must be postmarked by Tuesday, Oct. 13 for mailed registrations
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Just about any registered voter (no reason required) can request an absentee ballot, though you must submit an application — specific exceptions apply for first-time registrants who don’t meet select criteria.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Hand-delivered ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3); mailed ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3) and received by noon on Friday, Nov. 6

Early voting details: Runs from Saturday, Sept. 19 through Saturday, Oct. 31, though contact your local election officials for full details

More details:


Washington

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Monday, Oct. 26
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: All registered voters will be mailed a ballot no later than Friday, Oct. 16.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: N/A
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Hand-delivered ballots must be returned to a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3); mailed ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3).

Early voting details: Runs from Friday, Oct. 16 through Monday, Nov. 2, though contact your local county elections department for full details

More details:


West Virginia

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Tuesday, Oct. 13 for online and in-person registrations; must be postmarked by Tuesday, Oct. 13 for mailed registrations
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter is eligible, and while you do need to include a reason on your absentee ballot application, you can select “medical reason” in light of COVID-19.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Wednesday, Oct. 28
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Hand-delivered ballots must be returned by Monday, Nov. 2; mailed ballots must be postmarked by Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3) and received by the start of canvassing (Monday, Nov. 9).

Early voting details: Runs from Wednesday, Oct. 21 through Friday, Oct. 30, though contact your local county clerk for full details

More details:


Wisconsin

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Wednesday, Oct. 14 for online registrations; must be postmarked by Wednesday, Oct. 13 for mailed registrations; can also register in-person at your polling place on Election Day
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter is eligible (no reason required), though you must request an absentee ballot.
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Thursday, Oct. 29
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: Runs from Tuesday, Oct. 20 through Sunday, Nov. 3, though verify details with your local municipal clerk

More details:


Wyoming

Voter registration deadline: Must be received by Monday, Oct. 19; can also register and vote absentee at local polling places up to and including Election Day
Absentee/vote-by-mail eligibility: Any registered voter is eligible (no reason required), though you must complete and submit an application (warning: PDF link).
Deadline to request absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received by Monday, Nov. 2
Deadline to return absentee/mail-in ballot: Must be received no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3)

Early voting details: In-person, absentee voting runs from Friday, Sept. 18 through Monday, Nov. 2, though contact your local county clerk (warning: PDF link) for full details

More details:


Bottom line

Every state has its own quirks when it comes to voting outside of visiting your polling place on actual Election Day, so it’s critical to make your plans now so you aren’t surprised later this fall. Bear in mind that the above policies may also change in the weeks leading up to the election due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

However, one thing’s for sure — in 2020, it’s critical to plan ahead.

With so many states offering unrestricted mail-in or absentee voting due to COVID-19, you may want to initiate the application or request process sooner rather than later. This will ensure you receive and can submit the ballot in plenty of time for your vote to count.

For additional resources, be sure to check out VoteAmerica.com.

Featured photo by LPETTET/Getty Images.

 

 

 

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