However, sending a ballot is also quite easy and accessible, particularly for individuals who are unable to simply get in a car. Check your state's mail-in ballot deadlines, as well as the day they must be mailed and received. If you're mailing it, election officials recommend giving yourself a week for your ballot to arrive. You can also hand deliver your ballot to any polling place on election day.
Some states allow you to vote by fax, email, or text message instead. But these methods of voting are not available in all states. When requesting a ballot by fax, email, or text message, you will need to provide a form of identification that proves your identity and address. This may include a driver's license number, social security number, passport number, etc.
It's important to remember that no matter how you vote, if it isn't counted properly it doesn't matter. All states require some form of ID to vote. Non-citizen residents who are authorized to live in the United States can usually apply for a voter's registration card which serves as ID. Citizens who were born outside of the United States may have difficulty obtaining identification cards, so it's recommended to check with an attorney before you travel abroad if you plan to register to vote.
The best way to make sure your vote is counted is to check out our list of the top 10 things you should know about voting.
Mail-in votes must be postmarked by election day and received by municipal officials within two weeks. You can also drop off your ballot in a safe drop box managed by election authorities. These are available at all major airports, large shopping centers, military bases, and college campuses in the state.
Yes. Your address is required for verification purposes and to ensure that your ballot reaches the appropriate officials. Without an address, it may not be possible to verify your identity or location when you vote by mail, which could cause problems if you're out of town on election day.
Voting by mail eliminates many public events where candidates could give speeches, make phone calls, or meet with voters. This can be good for candidates who prefer to keep a low profile during an election year. It can also be bad for candidates who benefit from being seen at community gatherings or events where they can make direct contact with voters.
Voting by mail limits the influence of people who choose not to vote by mail because they think it will affect how their vote is counted.
You will then be provided instructions on how to apply for a mail-in ballot. Again, each jurisdiction is unique. All mail-in requests must be received by your electoral authority by October 29. Please keep in mind that in order for your ballot to be counted, it must be postmarked by Election Day and received within 14 days of Election Day. If you do not vote by mail, then you can apply for a special election ballot which will be sent out by postal service before the general election.
In some states, including Pennsylvania, you can apply for a mail-in ballot as late as November 4. However, since these ballots will be sent out after the election, they are referred to as "early" or "pre-election" ballots. If you fail to return your ballot by December 7, your vote will not be counted.
Other states have stricter rules regarding when you can apply for a mail-in ballot. You should check with your local electoral board for more information on how long you have to apply in your state.