How Can You Vote by Absentee Ballots?

To vote by absentee ballots, register as a voter and request for an absentee ballot from the County Board of Elections before the elections. You can expect to receive an absentee ballot when the election officials approve your application. Complete it and mail it back before your state's polling deadline.

All states mail absentee ballots to registered voters who cannot attend the polling station in person and who meet some preset conditions. Twenty-one states require voters to give reasons for absentee voting while the rest do not. Citizens who are temporarily residing outside the United States, have a physical disability, work shifts that coincide with polling hours, or are poll watchers outside their regular polling stations can request absentee ballots. These citizens must register as voters with the local polling clerks before requesting the absentee ballot.

The County Board of Elections must receive applications for absentee voting before the day of elections. Voters may also request absentee ballots from the Federal Voting Assistance Program. The board mails absentee ballots to successful applicants. Voters must complete and mail their ballots so they reach the election officials at their local polling stations before the polling deadline. Absentee voters must also be familiar with the absentee voting guidelines of their states to ensure they execute and mail their ballots properly.