Early Voting Rules

Last updated July 07, 2014

What is Early Voting?

Early voting refers to the practice of voting in person during a designated time period before Election Day.  Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia offer early voting.  You don't need an excuse to vote early -- you can take advantage of early voting even if you are capable of voting at the polls on Election Day.

A handful of states will allow you to cast an absentee ballot in person, provided you have a valid excuse for not voting on Election Day. This is technically NOT early voting, although it does serve the same purpose.   We've started calling this "same-day absentee voting" because you can get and return your absentee ballot on the same day.  

ALABAMA

No. In-person early voting is not allowed.

ALASKA

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting starts 15 days before an election and ends election day.

  • Early voting takes place at a Regional Elections Office in the jurisdiction where the voter is registered. Regional offices are located in Juneau, Anchorage, Wasilla, Fairbanks and Nome
  • In-person absentee voting takes place at any Regional Elections Office or absentee voting location.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://www.elections.alaska.gov/vi_ea_ev_ip_about.php)

ARIZONA

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting starts 26 days before an election, and ends at 5:00pm on the Friday before election day.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: AR Stat.16-542)

ARKANSAS

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting takes place during the 15 days before a primary or general election, and during the 7 days before a special election.

  • In most counties, early voting is conducted at the county clerk’s office. In counties with off-site early voting (a location other than the county clerk’s office), local newspapers will publish the designated sites.
  • During a preferential primary or a general election, early voting is available between the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, ending at 5 p.m. on the Monday before the election. Off-site early voting hours may vary by county; watch your local newspaper or contact your county clerk for information.
  • During all other elections, early voting is available during your county clerk’s regular office hours.
  • If your name or address has changed, you may update your information at the early voting site.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://www.sos.arkansas.gov/elections/Pages/votingInArkansas.aspx)

CALIFORNIA

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required. 

The early voting dates and locations are printed on the sample ballot sent out by your county.  You can also enter your zip code at cavotes.org to get details on dates and location.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

COLORADO

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting starts 15 days before a general election and 10 days before a primary election, and ends election day.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/FAQs/GeneralInfoFAQ.html#When%20is%20early%20voting?)

CONNECTICUT

No. In-person early voting is not allowed.

DELAWARE

Yes. Delaware doesn't have traditional early voting but they do offer in-person absentee voting.  You can apply for and vote an in-person absentee ballot at your county Department of Elections as soon as absentee ballots are available up until noon the day before election day. 

Be sure to bring ID and you'll need to sign an affidavit affirming that you are unable to vote in person at the polls for one of the following reasons:

  • The nature of your work or schooling prevents you from going to your polling place.
  • Your service to the United States or to the State of Delaware prevents you from going to your polling place. Spouses or dependents of the person in service also qualify. (Public service includes military, diplomatic, etc.)
  • The tenets or teaching of your religion prevent you from going to your polling place on election day.
  • You are on vacation on election day.
  • You are sick.
  • You are permanently or temporarily disabled.
  • You are incarcerated (but not for a felony).

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://electionsncc.delaware.gov/absentee_de/de_citizen.shtml#office)

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required. 

Early voting starts 15 days before an election and ends at 4:45pm the day before election day.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area. 

(Source: http://www.dcboee.org/faq/voter_reg.asp)

FLORIDA

Yes!  You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

For all state and federal elections, early voting starts 10 days before an election and ends the 3rd day before Election Day. (At the discretion of the supervisor of elections, early voting sites may also be open as early as 15 days prior to the election, and may end on the 2nd day before the election. Contact your Local Election Official for specific dates and locations.)

IDENTIFICATION: Voters should bring a form of photo identification and a form of ID that includes a signature. Besides a state-issued driver's license or ID card, other accepted forms include passports, debit or credit cards with photos, and identification for: members of the military, students, retirement centers, neighborhood associations or public assistance.

Early voting hours are set at the election Supervisors' discretion.  Contact your Local Election Official to find out when early voting is available in your area.

(Source: http://election.dos.state.fl.us/voting/early.shtml)

GEORGIA

Yes! Any eligible Georgia voter can vote early in person.

The times and dates of early voting vary by county, and seem to change frequently. You can find the dates for most recent election here:

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

HAWAII

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting starts two Tuesdays before an election and ends the Saturday before an election.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: Hawaii Secretary of State website)

IDAHO

Yes! You may vote early in person using your absentee ballot, no excuse required.

In-person absentee voting starts as soon as ballots are available and ends at 5 p.m. the Friday before the election.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://www.idahovotes.gov/VoterReg/ABSENTEE.HTM)

ILLINOIS

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting begins 15 days before to the election and ends the 3rd day before the election. 

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: IL early voting pamphlet)

INDIANA

Yes! You may vote absentee in person at your county elections office, no excuse required.

Early voting starts 29 days before an election and ends at noon the day before an election.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: Secretary of State's website)

IOWA

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting starts as soon as ballots are available and ends the day before election day.

(Note: if the polls open at noon on election day, you may also vote in-person on election day from 8am to 11am.)

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://sos.iowa.gov/elections/electioninfo/absenteeinperson.html)

KANSAS

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting starts the Tuesday before an election and ends at noon the day before election day. In some counties early voting starts as early as 20 days before an election. 

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://www.kssos.org/elections/elections_registration_voting.html )

KENTUCKY

Yes! You may vote early in person using a voting machine, but you need a valid excuse.

To be eligible for in-person early voting, one of the following must be true:

  • You will be out of the county on election day;
  • You are Military, their Dependents, or an Overseas Citizen;
  • You are Military personnel confined to base and learn of your confinement within seven days or less of an election;
  • You are a Student who resides outside the county or a resident who temporarily resides outside of the state, and will not be in the county on Election Day;
  • You are a voter or the spouse of a voter who has surgery scheduled that will require hospitalization on Election Day;
  • You are a pregnant woman in your third trimester.

OR you are one of the following:

  • Precinct election officer appointed to serve in precinct other than his own
  • Alternate precinct officer
  • County Board of Elections’ members
  • County Board of Elections’ staff
  • Deputy county clerk
  • State Board of Elections’ staff

Early voting starts 12 (or more) working days before the election and ends on election day.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://elect.ky.gov/voterinfo/Pages/absenteevoterinformation.aspx)

LOUISIANA

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting starts 14 days before an election and ends 7 days before an election.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://www.sos.la.gov/ElectionsAndVoting/Vote/VoteEarly/Pages/default.aspx)

MAINE

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting starts as soon as ballots are available (usually 30-45 days before an election) and ends election day.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/absenteeguide.html)

MARYLAND

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting starts the second Saturday before an election and ends the Thursday before an election.

Early voting centers are open from 10 am until 8 pm every day of early voting except on Sundays; on Sundays, they are open from 12pm to 6pm.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: Secretary of State's Website)

MASSACHUSETTS

Yes, you can vote early using your absentee ballot, but you'll need to provide a valid excuse.   

You may vote early in-person if:

  • you will be away from your city or town on election day
  • you have a disability that prevents you from voting at the polls
  • you cannot vote on election day due to religious beliefs

In-person absentee voting starts as soon as printed absentee ballots are available.  You can apply for and vote your absentee ballot during the same visit to your Local Election Official.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleifv/howabs.htm)

MICHIGAN

No. In-person early voting is not allowed.

MINNESOTA

Yes, but you'll need to provide a valid excuse.  Minnesota offers in-person absentee voting if you can't vote in person on election day because:    

  • you will be away from home on election day
  • you are ill or disabled
  • you are an election judge serving in a precinct other than your own
  • unable to go to the polling place due to a religious observance or belief

In-person absentee voting starts 46 days before an election and ends the day before election day.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://www.sos.state.mn.us/home/index.asp?page=211)

MISSISSIPPI

No. In-person early voting is not allowed.

MISSOURI

Yes, but you'll need to provide a valid excuse.  (Note: Missouri calls early voting "in-person absentee voting"). You may vote in-person absentee if you are unable to vote on election day due to: 

  • Absence on election day from the jurisdiction of the election authority in which such voter is registered to vote;
  • Incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability, including a person who is primarily responsible for the physical care of a person who is incapacitated or confined due to illness or disability;
  • Religious belief or practice;
  • Employment as an election authority, as a member of an election authority, or by an election authority at a location other than such voter's polling place;
  • Incarceration, provided all qualifications for voting are retained.

Voters can vote by absentee in the office of the local election authority until 5:00 p.m. the night before the election.  County Clerk to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/s_default.asp?id=absentee)

MONTANA

Yes! You may vote early in person using an absentee ballot, no excuse required.

Early voting starts as soon as the official ballot becomes available, usually 30 days before an election.  You can apply for, receive, and vote your absentee ballot at the same time. 

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://sos.mt.gov/elections/FAQ/index.asp#MailBallotElections)

NEBRASKA

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting starts 30 days before an election and ends election day.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://www.sos.ne.gov/elec/voter_info.html)

NEVADA

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting periods vary by county, find your county's schedule.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://nvsos.gov/index.aspx?page=1089

NEW HAMPSHIRE

No. In-person early voting is not allowed.

NEW JERSEY

No. In-person early voting is not allowed.

NEW MEXICO

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting starts the 28 days before an election and ends the Saturday before election day.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: NM Sec. of State)

NEW YORK

Yes, but you'll need to provide a valid excuse.  Valid excuses are the same as those for by-mail absentee voting. You may vote early if you are:

  • unavoidably absent from your county on election day
  • unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability
  • a patient in a Veterans’ Administration Hospital
  • detained in jail awaiting Grand Jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony

Early voting starts as soon as the ballots are available (at least 32 days before an election) and ends the day before election day. 

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://vote.nyc.ny.us/html/voters/absentee.shtml, and an email from the State Board of Elections)

NORTH CAROLINA

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.  (They call it "One-Stop Absentee Voting.")

Early voting starts the 2nd Thursday (10 days) before an election and ends the Saturday before election day. 

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://ncvoterguide.org/answers/)

NORTH DAKOTA

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Contact your Local Election Official to find out when and where early voting occurs and learn more about how it works in your area.

OHIO

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting starts the day after voter registration ends (about 28 days before the election) and ends at 6:00pm the Friday before Election Day.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/elections/Voters/absentee/inperson.aspx)

OKLAHOMA

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting is available from 8am to 6pm on the Friday and Monday before any election. Early voting also takes place from 8am to 1pm on the Saturday before a state or federal election. 

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://www.ok.gov/elections/faqs.html#q621)

OREGON

No. Not applicable - Oregon is by-mail voting only.

PENNSYLVANIA

No. In-person early voting is not allowed.

RHODE ISLAND

No. In-person early voting is not allowed.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Yes, but you'll need to provide a valid excuse. 

You may vote early in-person if fall into one of the following categories:

  • a student away at college (or a spouse or dependent residing with the student)
  • a member of the Armed Forces, Merchant Marines, Red Cross, USO, government employees, or a spouse or dependent residing with such a person
  • a person with a job that prevents you from voting in person on election day
  • physically disabled
  • away on vacation  on election day
  • 65 or older
  • confined to a jail or pre-trial facility pending disposition of arrest or trial
  • attending sick or physically disabled persons
  • on jury duty in state or federal court on election day
  • a certified poll watchers or poll managers

Early voting starts as soon as ballots are available and ends 5 p.m. the day before election day.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://www.scvotes.org/2009/10/15/absentee_voting)

SOUTH DAKOTA

Yes! You may vote early in person using your absentee ballot, no excuse required.

Contact your Local Election Official to find out when and where early voting is available or to learn more about early voting in your area.

TENNESSEE

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting starts 20 days before an election and ends 5 days before election day.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://www.tennessee.gov/sos/election/earlyvoting.htm)

TEXAS

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting starts 17 days before most elections* — or, if that falls on a weekend, the following Monday — and ends 4 days before Election Day.

*The exception is May uniform elections, for which the early voting period begins 12 days before the election.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://votetexas.gov/early-voting/)

UTAH

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting starts 14 days before an election and ends the Friday (2 business days) before election day.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: Utah Code 20A-3-506)

VERMONT

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting starts 45 days before a primary or general election - 20 days before a municipal election - and ends election day.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://vermont-elections.org/elections1/absentee_overview.html )

VIRGINIA

Yes, but you'll need to provide a valid excuse. 

Valid excuses are the same as those for by-mail absentee voting. You may vote early if:

  • you will be absent from the county or city in which you are entitled to vote, due to an obligation of business, profession, or occupation or while on personal business or vacation;
  • you are a student, or spouse of a student, attending a school or institution of learning, who will be absent on the day of election from the county or city in which you are entitled to vote;
  • you are unable to go in person to the polls on the day of election because of a disability, illness or pregnancy;
  • you are confined while awaiting trial or for having been convicted of a misdemeanor, provided that the trial or release date is scheduled on or after the third day preceding the election. (If you are awaiting trial and are a resident of the county or city where you are  confined, you may request to be taken to the polls to vote on election day if your trial date is postponed and you did not have an opportunity to vote absentee);
  • you are a member of an electoral board, registrar, officer of election, or custodian of voting equipment;
  • you are duly registered and unable to go in person to the polls on the day of the election because you are primarily and personally responsible for the care of an ill or disabled family member who is confined at home; or
  • you are duly registered and unable to go in person to the polls on the day of the election because of an obligation occasioned by your religion.
  • you are (i) a member of a uniformed service of the United States on active duty, or (ii) A member of the merchant marine of the United States, or (iii) you temporarily reside outside of the United States, or (iv) are the spouse or dependent residing with any person listed in (i), (ii), or (iii), and who will be absent on the day of the election from the county or city in which he is entitled to vote;

Early voting starts as soon as ballots are available - usually between 45 and 30 days before an election - and ends at 5 p.m. the Saturday before election day.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: sbe.virginia.gov/index.php/casting-a-ballot/absentee-voting)

WASHINGTON

Yes, even though all voting in Washington is done by-mail, you can vote in person at your local elections offices if you wish to do so.

This option is available on or up to 18 days before the election and until 8pm on Election day.

For voters with disabilities. Every county must have at least one Accessible Voting Unit (AVU) at each voting center. AVUs must be wheelchair-accessible and screened from other voters to maintain privacy.  An AVU presents your ballot on a monitor. You select choices by touching the screen, using a select wheel, or by using a tool. You can use headphones to listen to the text and prompts on your ballot. Most machines can also be fitted with sip-and-puff tools.

NOTE: If you receive your ballot in the mail, take it with you to the voting center. An election worker will show you how to use the AVU. Your county elections department may arrange time in advance for you to practice using the AVU.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: https://wei.sos.wa.gov/agency/osos/en/voters/Pages/voters_with_disabilities.aspx)

 

WEST VIRGINIA

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting starts 13 days before an election and ends 3 days before election day.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://www.sos.wv.gov/elections/voterinformation/VotingInWV/voting-absentee/Pages/default.aspx)

WISCONSIN

Yes! You may vote early in person using an absentee ballot, no excuse required.

Although they do not officially call it Early Voting, if you apply in-person at your municiapl clerk's office for an absentee ballot, you must vote the ballot immediately at the clerk's office, seal it, and return it to an authorized clerk. 

The process starts as soon as ballots are available, usually 3 weeks before an election, and ends at 5 p.m. or the close of business (whichever is later) on the Friday before election day. 

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://gab.wi.gov/elections-voting/voters/absentee)

WYOMING

Yes! You may vote early in person, no excuse required.

Early voting starts 40 days before an election and ends election day.

Contact your Local Election Official to learn more about early voting in your area.

(Source: http://soswy.state.wy.us/Elections/AbsenteeVoting.aspx)

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