No-excuse absentee voting ~ All-mail elections


VOPP: Table 1: States with No-Excuse Absentee Voting

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

“Absentee” first came about during the Civil War as a way for soldiers to cast a ballot in their home states. The idea of allowing military voters to cast a ballot “in absentia” is still one of the driving factors for states allowing absentee ballots. All states, by federal law, are required to send absentee ballots to military and overseas voters for federal elections.

For domestic voters wishing to vote absentee or by mail, 16 states require voters to provide an “excuse” for why they will not be able to vote on Election Day. Some of these states do provide early in-person voting.

The other 34 states and Washington, D.C., do not require an excuse from those who wish to vote absentee or by mail. Five states conduct elections entirely by mail (Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington), which means voters do not need to request a ballot, and instead automatically receive one. The other 29 states and D.C. offer “no-excuse” absentee voting, which means any voter can request a mail ballot without providing an excuse.

State Details
Alaska

Alaska Stat. § 15.20.010

No-excuse absentee voting
Arizona

Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-541

No-excuse absentee voting
California

Cali. Elec Code § 3003

No-excuse absentee voting
Colorado

Colo. Rev. Stat. §1-5-401

All-mail elections
District of Columbia

D.C. Mun. Regs. Tit. 3, § 720

No-excuse absentee voting
Florida

Flor. Stat. § 101.62

No-excuse absentee voting
Georgia

Georgia Code § 21-2-380

No-excuse absentee voting
Hawaii

Hawaii Stat. §11-101

All-mail elections
Idaho

Idaho Code §34-1001

No-excuse absentee voting
Illinois

10 ILCS 5/19-1

No-excuse absentee voting
Iowa

Iowa Code § 53.1

No-excuse absentee voting
Kansas

Kan. Stat. Ann.§ 25-1119(a)

No-excuse absentee voting
Maine

21-A ME Rev Stat § 751

No-excuse absentee voting
Maryland

Md. Elec Law §9-304

No-excuse absentee voting
Michigan

M.C.L.A. 168.759

No-excuse absentee voting
Minnesota

Minn. Stat. § 203B.02

No-excuse absentee voting
Montana

Mont. Code § 13-13-201

No-excuse absentee voting
Nebraska

Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. §32-938

No-excuse absentee voting
Nevada

NRS §293.313

No-excuse absentee voting
New Jersey

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 19:63-3

No-excuse absentee voting
New Mexico

N.M. Stat. § 1-6-3

No-excuse absentee voting
North Carolina

N.C. Gen Stat § 163-226

No-excuse absentee voting
North Dakota

N.D. Cent. Code § 16.1-07-01

No-excuse absentee voting
Ohio

Ohio Rev Code § 3509.02

No-excuse absentee voting
Oklahoma

26 OK Stat § 26-14-105

No-excuse absentee voting
Oregon

Ore. Rev. Stat. §254.465

All-mail elections
Pennsylvania

25 P.S. § 3150.11

No-excuse absentee voting
Rhode Island

R.I. Gen Laws § 17-20-2

No-excuse absentee voting

 

(Rhode Island lists several excuses to vote absentee, but also specifies “No specific reason necessary.” Since any Rhode Islander can request an absentee ballot, NCSL has categorized it as no excuse required.)

South Dakota

S.D. Cod. Laws § 12-19-1

No-excuse absentee voting
Utah

Utah Code Ann. §20A-3a-302

All-mail elections
Vermont

17 VSA § 2531

No-excuse absentee voting
Virginia

VA Code Ann. § 24.2-700

No-excuse absentee voting
Washington

Rev. Code of Wash. 29A.40.010

All-mail elections
Wisconsin

Wis. Stat. § 6.86 (1)(ac)

No-excuse absentee voting
Wyoming

WY Stat § 22-9-102

No-excuse absentee voting

ncsl.org