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Stay Calm and Keep Voting: How to Vote By Mail During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Coronavirus should not be a political issue, but with presidential primaries and the general election coming up, it could soon directly impact our politics. We should protect not only our health, but our civil liberties at this time — and one of those civil liberties is our fundamental right to vote. 

For many, the best way to vote while safeguarding your health during this time may be to vote by mail. It’s easy to request an absentee ballot and there’s still enough time to do so for most states with upcoming primaries. While some states limit who can vote absentee — for example, to people with health issues, disabilities, or other circumstances that may prevent them from voting in person — most states allow anyone to vote this way. If you live in a state with an upcoming primary, find your application deadlines and other requirements below.* 

Remember that public health officials recommend that you not lick absentee ballot envelopes, but instead use a wet sponge or cloth to seal them.

For more details on voting absentee, including information on how to request an absentee ballot in-person, visit vote.org for guidance on absentee voting. The nonpartisan Election Protection Hotline (1-866-OUR-VOTE) is also available for any voting questions. And finally, once you receive your absentee ballot, remember: don’t lick the envelope.

Alaska

Date of primary: April 4

Connecticut**

Date of primary: April 28

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: April 27
  • How to apply: Apply by mail. To ensure faster receipt, fax your application in addition to mailing the original. If you’re applying after April 22, use an emergency form in addition to your application.
  • Who can vote absentee: Everyone

Delaware

Date of primary: April 28

Florida

Date of primary: March 17

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: April 24
  • How to apply: Request in person, or through a representative
  • Who can vote absentee: Everyone

Georgia

Date of primary: March 24

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: March 20
  • How to apply: Request by mail, fax, or email
  • Who can vote absentee: Everyone

Illinois

Date of primary: March 17

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: March 12
  • How to apply: Request by mail
  • Who can vote absentee: Everyone

Indiana

Date of primary: May 5

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: April 22
  • How to apply: Request by mail, fax, or email
  • Who can vote absentee: Excuse required

Kansas 

Date of primary: May 2

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: Automatic for voters registered as Democrats by March 9; April 17 for those who register later (this year’s Kansas Republican presidential primary has been canceled)
  • How to apply: Request online
  • Who can vote absentee: Everyone

Kentucky

Date of primary: May 19

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: May 12
  • How to apply: Request by contacting county clerk
  • Who can vote absentee: Excuse required

Louisiana

Date of primary: April 4

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: Application must be received by 4:30 PM on March 31.
  • How to apply: Request online or by mail
  • Who can vote absentee: Excuse required

Maryland

Date of primary: April 28

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: April 24 for online delivery; April 21 for mail or fax delivery
  • How to apply: Request online or by mail, fax, or email
  • Who can vote absentee: Everyone

Montana

Date of primary: June 2

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: June 1
  • How to apply: Request by mail or fax
  • Who can vote absentee: Everyone

Nebraska

Date of primary: May 12

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: Application must be received by 6 PM on May 1
  • How to apply: Request by mail
  • Who can vote absentee: Everyone

New Jersey

Date of primary: June 2

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: May 26
  • How to apply: Request by mail
  • Who can vote absentee: Everyone

New Mexico

Date of primary: June 2

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: 5 PM May 29
  • How to apply: Request online or by mail
  • Who can vote absentee: Everyone

New York

Date of primary: April 28

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: Postmarked by April 21
  • How to apply: Request by mail
  • Who can vote absentee: Excuse required

Ohio

Date of primary: March 17

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: March 4
  • How to apply: Request by mail
  • Who can vote absentee: Everyone

Oregon

Date of primary: May 19

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: Automatic upon registration; register to vote by April 28
  • How to apply: Automatic upon registration
  • Who can vote absentee: Everyone

Pennsylvania

Date of primary: April 28

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: 5 PM on April 21
  • How to apply: Request online or by mail
  • Who can vote absentee: Everyone

Rhode Island

Date of primary: April 28

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: 4 PM on April 7
  • How to apply: Request by mail
  • Who can vote absentee: Everyone

South Dakota

Date of primary: June 2

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: June 1
  • How to apply: Request by mail
  • Who can vote absentee: Everyone

Washington, DC

Date of primary: June 2

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: May 26
  • How to apply: Request online or by mail, fax, or email
  • Who can vote absentee: Everyone

West Virginia

Date of primary: May 12

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: May 6
  • How to apply: Request by mail, fax, or email
  • Who can vote absentee: Excuse required

Wisconsin

Date of primary: April 7

  • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot: 5 PM on April 3
  • How to apply: Request online or by mail, fax, or email
  • Who can vote absentee: Excuse required

* In nearly all states, individuals can also request an absentee ballot in person. For most states, the deadline is the same.

** Connecticut requires individuals who distribute more than four absentee ballot applications to people outside of their immediate family to register and obtain those forms from a local town clerk.