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Thread: Early Voting / Vote by Mail

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Early Voting / Vote by Mail

    Early Voting

    More than two-thirds of the states--37, plus the District of Columbia--offer some sort of early voting. Early voting allows voters to visit an election official’s office or, in some states, other satellite voting locations, and cast a vote in person without offering an excuse for why the voter is unable to vote on Election Day. Some states also allow voters to receive, fill out and cast their absentee ballot in person at the elections office or at a satellite location rather than returning it through through the mail. This is often referred to as in-person absentee voting. Satellite voting locations vary by state, and may include other county and state offices (besides the election official’s office), grocery stores, shopping malls, schools, libraries, and other locations. More detailed information can be found on NCSL's State Laws Governing Early Voting page.
    The time period for early voting varies from state to state:

    • The date on which early voting begins may be as early as 45 days before the election, or as late as the Friday before the election. The average starting time for early voting across all 34 states is 22 days before the election.
    • Early voting typically ends just a few days before Election Day: seven days before the election in two states, on the Thursday before the election in one state, the Friday before in eight states, the Saturday before in seven states, and the Monday before Election Day in 13 states.
    • Early voting periods range in length from four days to 45 days; the average across all 33 states is 19 days.
    • Of the states that allow early in-person voting, 22 and the District of Columbia allow some weekend early voting.
      • Saturday: 18 states + the District of Columbia provide for voting on Saturday. 4 additional states (California, Kansas, Vermont and Massachusetts) leave it up to county clerks who may choose to allow Saturday voting.
      • Sunday: 4 states (Alaska, Illinois, Ohio and Maryland) allow for Sunday voting. 5 states (California, Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Massachusetts) leave it up to county clerks who may choose to be open on Sundays.


    No-Excuse Absentee Voting

    Absentee voting is conducted by mail-in paper ballot prior to the day of the election. States typically require that a voter fill out an application to receive an absentee ballot. Many states help facilitate this process by making absentee ballot applications available online for voters to print and send, and at least five states (Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota and Utah) permit a voter to submit an application entirely online. Arizona has some counties that have online absentee ballot applications, and in Detroit, Michigan, voters can request an absentee ballot through a smartphone app.
    While all states offer some version of absentee voting, there is quite a lot of variation in states’ procedures. For instance, some states offer "no-excuse" absentee voting, allowing any registered voter to request an absentee without requiring that the voter state a reason for his/her desire to vote absentee. Some states also allow a time period before the election for voters to appear at the elections office or other designated location in person to request, fill out and cast an absentee ballot in on stop. Still other states permit voters to vote absentee only under a limited set of circumstances.
    The following 27 states and D.C. offer "no-excuse" absentee voting:
    Alaska Kansas North Dakota
    Arizona Maine Ohio
    California Maryland Oklahoma
    District of Columbia Minnesota South Dakota
    Florida Montana Utah
    Georgia Nebraska Vermont
    Hawaii Nevada Wisconsin
    Idaho New Jersey Wyoming
    Illinois New Mexico
    Iowa North Carolina
    Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, January 2016
    Permanent Absentee Voting

    Some states permit voters to join a permanent absentee voting list. Once a voter opts in, s/he will receive an absentee ballot automatically for all future elections. The states that offer permanent absentee voting to any voter are:




    At least nine states offer permanent absentee status to a limited number of voters who meet certain criteria:



    Mail Voting

    Three states -- Oregon, Washington and Colorado -- conduct all elections by mail. A ballot is automatically mailed to every registered voter in advance of Election Day, and traditional in-person voting precincts are not available. However these states still provide one or more locations for voters to return mail ballots, vote in-person if they would like, and receive other voter services. Learn more about each state's vote-by-mail program: Oregon, Washington, Colorado.
    Nineteen other states allow certain elections to be held by mail. More information can be found on NCSL's All-Mail Elections (aka Vote-By-Mail) webpage.
    Early and Absentee Voting in Your State

    Are you looking for information on how to vote early or by absentee ballot in an upcoming election? While NCSL is not involved in holding elections and cannot provide information or advice on how, when or where to vote in your state, we are pleased to provide this link to a page which will direct you to the answers you need regarding your state's laws: Can I Vote?

    Military Voters

    All states permit members of the military who are stationed overseas, their dependents, and other U.S. citizens living abroad to vote by absentee ballot. For more information, please visit the Overseas Vote Foundation.

    Additional Resources




    http://www.ncsl.org/research/electio...ing.aspx#early
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  2. #2
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    I am an absentee Vote By Mail (VBM) voter and we have a lot of those in the county where I live. I first became a VBM when I decided I didn't like polling in a church many years ago. I also don't like to vote early. I feel like if I vote early, then those manipulating the polls can further narrow down their target audience by observing who has and who has not voted. What I like to do is fill out my VBM ballot and drop it off on the day of election. You can do that where I am at, any polling station will accept the VBM ballot sealed up as if it were to be mailed.

    There is also the issue of voter fraud. To what extent does VBM provide for voter fraud? There is no possibility of requiring a voter ID in VBM balloting. How do you prevent people from voting more than once from different addresses?

    But not having to sweat out who or what to pick while standing in some voting booth, being able to sit down at a desk and really have a leisurely look at the ballot is a huge relief.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member artclam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkskyali View Post
    There is also the issue of voter fraud. To what extent does VBM provide for voter fraud? There is no possibility of requiring a voter ID in VBM balloting. How do you prevent people from voting more than once from different addresses?
    VBM is better than DRE (Direct Recording Electronic) voting machines because it leaves a paper trail which can be counted by hand to verify the machine count. People are prevented from registering in more than one location whether they vote by mail or in person. The lists can be compared both to itself and other lists. The biggest danger is that it allows for people to be paid to vote a particular way. The person voting can sign the ballot and then sell it to someone else to fill in the selections.
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artclam View Post
    VBM is better than DRE (Direct Recording Electronic) voting machines because it leaves a paper trail which can be counted by hand to verify the machine count. People are prevented from registering in more than one location whether they vote by mail or in person. The lists can be compared both to itself and other lists. The biggest danger is that it allows for people to be paid to vote a particular way. The person voting can sign the ballot and then sell it to someone else to fill in the selections.
    Thanks for that bit of information. It never would have occurred to me about selling votes.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    CBS News said tonight 11 state are now early voting.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member artclam's Avatar
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    Here in New Jersey I received my mail-in ballot yesterday.

  8. #8
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artclam View Post
    Here in New Jersey I received my mail-in ballot yesterday.
    I got the 224 page CA. voter information guide yesterday.
    It's a little early for our ballots to arrive.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Early Voting
    State Early in-person voting begins Early in-person voting ends
    California Early voting start times vary by county. In general, early voting starts 30 days before Election Day. Early voting end times vary by county. In general early voting ends the day before Election Day.
    49 more rows, 1 more column

    Early Voting Calendar - VOTE.org - Everything you need to vote

    https://www.vote.org/early-voting-calendar/
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  10. #10
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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