Mail-in voting was one of the most popular ways people voted in the 2020 elections, and you may be able to vote by mail this year as well. Voting is your right, and mail-in voting is voting. Are you #MailReady?
Vote by mail and absentee voting are mostly interchangeable, with slight differences in some states. Vote by mail is used by those who need to vote on their own schedule, and can help ensure safety, while helping to keep lines short on election day for those who need to vote in person.
Some states have eligibility requirements for vote by mail. Click here to learn more about your state’s vote by mail requirements.
Vote by mail is simple, but you need to follow the process.
- If there is an election in your community this year, request your mail-in ballot today. The USPS cannot forward absentee ballots—so if you request a mail-in ballot, ensure your ballot is mailed to an address where you can access it before the election. Some states allow you to track your ballot. Check here to determine if your state allows tracking.
- Once you have received your ballot, complete it as soon as possible. Read the instructions on the ballot fully, use the right color ink, indicate your choices clearly by fully filling in the bubbles, seal your envelope properly, sign clearly, ensure there are no stains or tears on your ballot or envelope, and do not forget to add postage if necessary.
- Check and complete any additional requirements for your state, including possibly notarizing your ballot, or providing a copy of your state ID (more details here).
- Decide and plan how you will return it: by mail, or hand-delivering it to an elections office, or a secure dropbox (available in some states). If you can, drop it off! If not, make sure you send your mail-in ballot before the deadline.
If you believe your ballot wasn’t counted, or it was lost, or rejected, call the election protection hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE or tweet @866OURVOTE. You may be able to vote in person if your ballot is lost, delayed, or rejected.