FAQs ABOUT ABSENTEE VOTING

 
 

Is voting by absentee common?

Yes! In fact, 57.5 million people voted early in the 2016 election, making up 2 in every 5 ballots. And, according to a Northwestern study, out-of-state college students prefer voting absentee 2:1

 

Will requesting an absentee ballot also register me to vote?

Nope! Registering to vote and requesting an absentee ballot are two separate processes. Before you request an absentee ballot, make sure you're actually registered to vote.

 

When will my ballot arrive in the mail?

It depends on your county, but ballots usually arrive quickly. In some counties, your ballot will arrive 1-2 days of your application being received.

 

When do I have to send in my ballot?

Each state has its own deadlines for when absentee ballots should be sent in. If the deadline is too close to mail, you can drop off your ballot in-person.

 

Does my state require an excuse to vote absentee?

27 states and the District of Columbia offer no-excuse absentee voting. You can find out whether or not your state requires an excuse.

 

If my state requires an excuse, what is a valid excuse?

Each state has its own rules for what constitutes a valid excuse. All states allow students who attend college out of their home county to vote absentee.

 

What is my state's deadline to send in an absentee ballot request?

Each state has its own deadline for sending in an absentee ballot request. The earliest suggested deadline out of all states is one month before Election Day, whereas other states have a deadline within the same week of Election Day.

 

Are absentee ballots actually counted?

Absentee ballots are counted in every election.

 

FAQs ABOUT VOTER REGISTRATION

 

Does my vote actually matter?

Yep, it definitely does! There are countless elections that have been decided by only a few votes. For example, a state election last year was tied, so the winner was selected by drawing names out of a hat. Literally. In a 2014 election in Louisiana, one race was decided by just 1%. Who pushed the winner over the top? Young people, who supported that candidate more than any other group. 

There will be close races all over the country, and at least 10 states have senate or gubernatorial (governor) elections “where youth are poised to have a disproportionately high electoral impact in 2018.” (You can also check out the top 50 races where young people are most likely to swing the election.)

One vote matters. *Your* vote matters. And together, our votes have the collective power to decide the future of the country we want to see.

I'm not 18, but I will be by Election Day (November 6, 2018).  Can I still register to vote?

It depends on your state. In most states, YES. In all but a few states, you can register to vote if you’ll be 18 by Election Day. In the following states, you can only register if your 18th birthday is within a certain numbers of dates/months before Election Day:

Alaska: 90 days
Georgia: 6 months
Iowa: 6 months
Missouri: 6 months
Texas: 2 months

If you qualify under these rules, register now! If you’re not sure, you can check your state’s rules. And if you can’t vote this year, share this voter registration link with friends who can.

 

Am I registered to vote? 

We don’t know, but we can definitely help you find out! Use our tools to find out if you’re registered, change your address, and more. Oh! And if you re-register, there’s no penalty. Better safe than sorry, right?

Can I register to vote without a driver's license?

Yes! You can register to vote using a driver’s license number or another non-driver ID number (for example,  a state ID card). If you don’t have a driver’s license or haven’t been issued a non-driver state ID card, states will allow you to register using the last four digits of your social security number (SSN).

(The only exceptions are in the following states, where you should provide your full SSN: Hawaii, Kentucky, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.)

How do I vote if I’m at college in a different state?

You can register to vote for your home state or the state where you go to college. If you live in a dorm, you must put your physical dorm address on the form, and a PO box doesn’t count. (There’s a separate section on the form for you to include your mailing address, in case that’s different from your dorm address.)

When are my elections?

There are hundreds of local elections in each state. Luckily, our friends at Rock the Vote can send you reminders about when elections are coming up in your state or city.