, Land Line state legislative editor | Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Driving over the road on Election Day is not a reason to sacrifice your right vote. You can still make your voice heard back home and help set the course on issues at the national, state and local levels of government.
All states allow advance voting. It’s a perfect setup for professional drivers. Some states allow mail-in ballots, commonly referred to as absentee ballots. Other states allow voting in person at locations leading up to Election Day. This is known as early voting. Elsewhere, some states conduct elections by mail. Your local elections office or secretary of state’s office should have details.
Most states offer “no excuse” absentee voting – meaning you do not have to give a reason why you want to cast an absentee ballot. Other states either allow permanent no excuse absentee voting or allow voters to cast absentee ballots only under a limited set of circumstances.
Absentee ballots – or even permanent absentee ballots – can be requested by contacting a county clerk, county auditor, county registrar or supervisor of elections, or the board of elections depending on the state. Google “absentee ballots” for your home state to find the specific process for you.
Some type of early voting is offered in 33 states. It allows voters to simply decide to vote early.
No-excuse early voting differs from absentee voting. Voters may visit an election official’s office – or in some states other satellite voting locations – and cast ballots in person.
The time periods for early voting vary by state. The average starting time for early voting in affected states is 19 days before Election Day.
Colorado, Oregon and Washington run their elections entirely by mail. The process is used to send a ballot to every registered voter prior to Election Day. In addition, 17 states allow certain elections to be held by mail.
For information on getting an absentee ballot or to find out if your state offers early voting, contact your local elections office or secretary of state’s office. You can also visit them on the Internet. See the state-by-state contact info.
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