How to Vote By Mail

Victoria Whalen

|

September 13, 2022

A short breakdown of absentee ballots

What is Absentee Voting?

Absentee voting (mail-in voting) is conducted by mail-in ballot before Election Day. Voting by mail allows you to vote safely from home instead of going to a polling place. As we continue to work through a global pandemic, voting by mail ensures the safety of voters and poll workers.

Additionally, absentee voting is a safe and secure system that allows more time and flexibility to cast your ballot.

Absentee Ballot Rules

Each state has its own guidelines and requirements when it comes to voting by mail. Below are some examples that vary by state:

  • Excuse: Voters in these states will need to provide a valid excuse for not voting on Election Day to vote by absentee ballot
  • No Excuse: Any voter in these states can vote by absentee ballot, even if they can vote in person on Election Day
  • Mail-in Only: Voters in these states only need to request an absentee ballot if they need their ballot mailed to a different address

How to Vote by Mail

  1. Make sure you are registered to vote and that your registration is up-to-date
  2. Request your mail-in ballot for your state by filling out an application form online. Note: some states have universal vote-by-mail, which will automatically send a ballot to your address
  3. You will receive the ballot, instructions, and a return envelope in the mail. Follow the instructions, insert and seal your ballot inside the return envelope
  4. Don’t forget to date and sign your name on the return envelope

Important Things to Remember

Each state has different deadlines when it comes to voting by mail, so make sure to check before submitting.

Always sign your return envelope. Your signature is required for the ballot to count!

Active duty military members, their families, and U.S. citizens living abroad also have the right to vote by sending absentee ballots. Be sure to check your state rules to see how to participate abroad.

Your Vote is Your Voice

In a democracy, your vote is your voice, and decisions are made by those who show up at the polls! The first step in ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard equally is getting as many people as possible registered to vote.

Register to vote today!

Victoria

Victoria Whalen

Social Media Fellow

Victoria Whalen was born and raised in Georgia, and has recently graduated from Marymount Manhattan College where she received a double BA degree in Biology and Urban & Environmental Sustainability with a minor in Law & Ethics. She is also a rising law student and is attending the University of Oregon as a 1L Environmental and Natural Resources Fellow. In her free time she enjoys playing with her dog Coco, watching movies, playing video games, and doing any sorts of arts & crafts.

Join our Youth Action Network

More Blog Posts

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 9.40.14 AM

The Power Grid and Climate Change 101

The privilege of having electricity is probably something many of us don’t think about until we experience a blackout. But as soon as a community experiences a power outage, everyone scrambles to purchase canned food, insulate heat or air conditioning, and replace the batteries in flashlights. Unfortunately, without major changes to the United States (U.S.) power grid, the increasingly intense effects of climate change could make electricity disruptions far more common. 

Read More
Blog Banner

Leilina: Reflections on Hurricane Ian

If you’re a non-Floridian, the part of Hurricane Ian you probably won’t see is the water shortage in every Walmart and Publix. You won’t see the temporarily displaced people having to evacuate Tampa. You won’t see the fights over gas. You won’t see the downed trees crushing cars and electric lines making the flood waters unsafe.

Read More
Blog Banner-2

Jillian & Andrew: Reflections on Hurricane Ian

Climate change plays a huge role in how destructive the hurricane becomes. Hurricanes run on warm water, which is why they are becoming stronger as sea temperatures continue to rise. Not only will they become more intense, but they will also start slowing down.

Read More
View More