You can vote by absentee ballot if on election day you are:
- away from your precinct
- ill or disabled
- prevented from going to the polling place by a religious holiday or beliefs
- an election judge serving in another precinct
Check with your county auditor or municipal clerk to find out how and where to apply.
- Apply and vote during normal office hours before the election.
- You can do this on the Saturday before the election from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., or on the Monday before until 5:00 p.m.
- Apply early so you can mail back or deliver your absentee ballot before election day.
- Call, write or fax for an application. In some places you can return your application by fax.
In the military or outside the U.S.:
- Visit the Secretary of State's Military and Overseas Voter Service page for detailed information on voting if you reside overseas or are currently deployed.
Protections in the absentee voting system
What if I vote by Absentee Ballot and then change my mind and want to vote for someone else? What prevents me from voting both by Absentee Ballot and in person?
- Absentee ballots are put in two envelopes, one inside the other. The outer envelope has the voter's name and identification on it. The inner envelope, which contains the actual ballot, is blank to protect the voter's privacy.
- On Election Day, the name on the outer envelope is compared to the Roster at the voter's polling place. If the voter signed the Roster, indicating that he or she voted in person, the absentee ballot is rejected. If not, the Election Judge enters "AB" on the signature line for that voter, and the envelope is opened revealing the second, blank envelope. The blank envelopes are saved in a pile, opened later, and the ballots are put in the optical scanner or counted.
- If a voter comes to the polls after the Absentee Ballot is processed, he or she will NOT be able to vote in person.
- If the voter comes to the polls before the Absentee Ballot is processed, he or she may vote in person, and the Absentee Ballot will not be counted.