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Election 2020: Voter registration and absentee ballot deadlines for each state

Election Day is November 3
Election 2020: Voter registration and absentee ballot deadlines for each state
Posted at 2:52 PM, Sep 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 12:10:32-04

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 general election is shaping up to be one like never before.

This year, many more Americans are expected to vote by mail instead of stopping at a polling place, in an effort to avoid contracting or spreading the coronavirus.

To accommodate the high demand for mail-in voting, many states are relaxing their restrictions on who’s eligible to do so. In most states, you can vote by mail without an excuse or COVID-19 can be your excuse. However, it cannot be used as an excuse in Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Texas, NBC News reports.

If you’re planning on voting, you must first make sure you’re registered on time. And if you’re wanting to vote by mail, you’ll want to request a ballot.

The U.S. Postal Service, which will play a huge roll in this election, strongly recommends that voters request their mail-in ballots at the earliest point allowable, but no later than 15 days prior to Election Day, which is on Nov. 3.

The USPS also recommends that voters mail their ballots at least one week prior to their states' due dates to allow for timely receipt by election officials.

If you don’t want to rely on the USPS to deliver your ballot to election officials, many communities provide locations where you can drop your ballot off yourself.

Each state in the U.S. has different rules for how its residents vote in elections. To help Americans make their votes count, we’ve compiled the registration deadlines and absentee ballot deadlines for each state below, according to Vote.org:

Alabama

Registration deadline: Oct. 19

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 29
By mail: Received by Oct. 29
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Postmarked by Nov. 2, received by noon on Nov. 3

Alaska

Registration deadline: Oct. 4

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 24
By mail: Received by Oct. 24
Online: Received by Oct. 24

Completed absentee ballot due date: Postmarked by Nov. 3, received by Nov. 13

Arizona

Registration deadline: Oct. 5

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 23
By mail: Received by Oct. 23
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3

Arkansas

Registration deadline: Oct. 5

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Nov. 2
By mail: Received by Oct. 27
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 3

California

Registration deadline: Oct. 19, same-day registration available on Nov. 3

Absentee ballot: All registered voters will be sent a vote-by-mail ballot. Registered voters do not have to apply for a vote-by-mail for this election.

Completed absentee ballot due date: Postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 20

Colorado

Registration deadline: Oct. 26, same-day registration available on Nov. 3

Absentee ballot: Every voter receives a mail ballot. The ballot will be sent to the mailing address they provided for their voter registration file.

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3

Connecticut

Registration deadline: Oct. 27, same-day registration available on Nov. 3

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: N/A
By mail: Received by Nov. 2, but recommended to apply by Oct. 27
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by Nov. 3

Delaware

Registration deadline: Oct. 10

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 30
By mail: Received by Oct. 30
Online: Received by Oct. 30

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by Nov. 3

Florida

Registration deadline: Oct. 5

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 24
By mail: Received by Oct. 24
Online: Received by Oct. 24

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3, or postmarked on or before Nov. 3 and received no later than Nov. 10

Georgia

Registration deadline: Oct. 5

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 30
By mail: Received by Oct. 30
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 6

Hawaii

Registration deadline: Oct. 5, same-day registration available on Nov. 3

Absentee ballot: All registered voters receive their mail ballot automatically about 18 days before the election.

Completed absentee ballot due date: Voters returning their ballot by mail (USPS) should do so by Oct. 27. After that, voters should drop it off at a voter service center or place of deposit.

Idaho

Registration deadline: Oct. 9, same-day registration available on Nov. 3

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 23
By mail: Received by Oct. 23
Online: Received by Oct. 23

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3

Illinois

Registration deadline: Postmarked by Oct. 6, online by Oct. 18, same-day registration available

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Nov. 2
By mail: Received by Oct. 29
Online: Received by Oct. 29

Completed absentee ballot due date: Postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 17

Indiana

Registration deadline: Oct. 5

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 22
By mail: Received by Oct. 22
Online: Received by Oct. 22

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 12 p.m. on Nov. 3

Iowa

Registration deadline: Oct. 24, same-day registration available on Nov. 3

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Nov. 2 unless the polls open at noon. If the polls open at noon, you may cast an absentee ballot at the county auditor's office from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Nov. 3.
By mail: Received by Oct. 24
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Postmarked by Nov. 2 and received by 12 p.m. on Nov. 9

Kansas

Registration deadline: Oct. 13

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 27
By mail: Received by Oct. 27
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 6

Kentucky

Registration deadline: Oct. 5

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 27
By mail: Received by Oct. 27
Online: Received by Oct. 9

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 6 p.m. on Nov. 3

Louisiana

Registration deadline: Post received by Oct. 5, in-person request by Oct. 5, online by Oct. 14

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 30
By mail: Received by Oct. 30
Online: Received by Oct. 30

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 2

Maine

Registration deadline: Post received by Oct. 13, in-person request by Nov. 3, same-day registration available on Nov. 3

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 29
By mail: Received by Oct. 29
Online: Received by Oct. 29

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by Nov. 3

Maryland

Registration deadline: Oct. 13, same-day registration available on Nov. 3

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 27
By mail: Received by Oct. 27
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Postmarked on or before Nov. 3 and received by 10 a.m. on Nov. 13

Massachusetts

Registration deadline: Oct. 24

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Nov. 2, but recommended to apply by Oct. 27
By mail: Received by Nov. 2, but recommended to apply by Oct. 27
Online: N/A
*MA also has early voting by mail that must be received in person or by mail by Oct. 30

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by Nov. 3

Michigan

Registration deadline: Oct. 19, same-day registration available on Nov. 3

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Nov. 2
By mail: Received by Oct. 30
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by Nov. 3

Minnesota

Registration deadline: Oct. 13, same-day registration available on Nov. 3

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Nov. 2
By mail: Received by Nov. 2, but recommended to apply by Oct. 27
Online: Received by Nov. 2

Completed absentee ballot due date: Postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 10 if mailed, or by 3 p.m. on Nov. 3 if delivered in person

Mississippi

Registration deadline: Oct. 5

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: No specific deadline, but recommended to apply by Oct. 27
By mail: No specific deadline, but recommended to apply by Oct. 27
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 2 by mail, received by Oct. 31 in person

Missouri

Registration deadline: Oct. 7

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Nov. 2
By mail: Received by Oct. 21
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3

Montana

Registration deadline: Oct. 5, same-day registration available on Nov. 3

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Nov. 2
By mail: Received by Nov. 2, but recommended to apply by Oct. 27
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3

Nebraska

Registration deadline: Oct. 16

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 23
By mail: Received by Oct. 23
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by Nov. 3

Nevada

Registration deadline: Postmarked or in-person by Oct. 6, online by Oct. 29, same-day registration available on Nov. 3

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 20
By mail: Received by Oct. 20
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Postmarked on or before Nov. 3

New Hampshire

Registration deadline: Oct. 21, same-day registration available on Nov. 3

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: No specific deadline
By mail: No specific deadline, but recommended to apply by Oct. 27
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 3

New Jersey

Registration deadline: Oct. 13

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Nov. 2
By mail: Received by Oct. 27
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Postmarked by Nov. 3 and received within 48 hours of polls closing

New Mexico

Registration deadline: Oct. 6

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 29
By mail: Received by Oct. 29
Online: Received by Oct. 29

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3

New York

Registration deadline: Oct. 9

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Nov. 2
By mail: Postmarked by Oct. 27
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Postmarked on Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 10

North Carolina

Registration deadline: Oct. 9

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 27
By mail: Received by Oct. 27
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 3; Absentee ballots received after 5 p.m. on Nov. 3 will be counted only if they are postmarked on or before Nov. 3 and received by mail no later than 5 p.m. on Nov. 6

North Dakota

Registration deadline: Registration not required. Electorate brings valid ID and proof of residency to polls to vote

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: No specific deadline
By mail: No specific deadline, but recommended to apply by Oct. 27
Online: No specific deadline

Completed absentee ballot due date: Postmarked by Nov. 2

Ohio

Registration deadline: Oct. 5

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 31
By mail: Received by Oct. 31
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Postmarked no later than Nov. 2 and received by Nov. 13 or delivered in person by Nov. 3

Oklahoma

Registration deadline: Oct. 9

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 28
By mail: Received by Oct. 28
Online: Received by Oct. 28

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3

Oregon

Registration deadline: Oct. 13

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: N/A
By mail: If residents need to change where their ballots are mailed, they must submit change by Oct. 29.
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3

Pennsylvania

Registration deadline: Oct. 19

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 27
By mail: Received by Oct. 27
Online: Received by Oct. 27

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3

Rhode Island

Registration deadline: Oct. 4

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 13
By mail: Received by Oct. 13
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3

South Carolina

Registration deadline: Oct. 4

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 30
By mail: Received by Oct. 30
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3

South Dakota

Registration deadline: Oct. 19

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Nov. 2, but recommended to apply by Oct. 27
By mail: Received by Nov. 2, but recommended to apply by Oct. 27
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by Nov. 3

Tennessee

Registration deadline: Oct. 5

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 27
By mail: Received by Oct. 27
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by Nov. 3

Texas

Registration deadline: Oct. 5

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 23
By mail: Received by Oct. 23
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 4

Utah

Registration deadline: Online by Oct. 23, by mail by Oct. 5, same-day registration available on Nov. 3

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: N/A
By mail: If residents need to change where their ballots are mailed, they must submit change by Oct. 27.
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Postmarked by Nov. 2 and received by Nov. 9

Vermont

Registration deadline: No deadline, same-day registration available on Nov. 3

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Nov. 2
By mail: Received by Nov. 2, but recommended to apply by Oct. 27
Online: Received by Nov. 2

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by Nov. 3

Virginia

Registration deadline: Oct. 13

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 31
By mail: Received by Oct. 23
Online: Received by Oct. 23

Completed absentee ballot due date: Postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by 12 p.m. on Nov. 6

Washington

Registration deadline: Oct. 26, same-day voter registration available on Nov. 3

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: N/A
By mail: If residents need to change where their ballots are mailed, they must submit change by Oct. 27.
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 8

West Virginia

Registration deadline: Oct. 13

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 28
By mail: Received by Oct. 28
Online: Received by Oct. 27

Completed absentee ballot due date: Postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 9

Wisconsin

Registration deadline: Oct. 14, same-day registration available on Nov. 3

Absentee ballot application deadlines:
In person: Received by Oct. 29
By mail: Received by Oct. 29
Online: Received by Oct. 29

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3

Wyoming

Registration deadline: Oct. 19, same-day registration available on Nov. 3

In person: Received by Nov. 2
By mail: Received by Nov. 2, but recommended to apply by Oct. 27
Online: N/A

Completed absentee ballot due date: Received by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3

Editor's note: Vote.org says it's best to double check with your state for any recent changes to election rules in your state. If you spot any outdated or incorrect deadlines on this list, please email kyle.hicks@scripps.com.

Key Colorado Voting Dates and Deadlines

Today: Review your voter record to be sure your information is up-to-date by clicking here.
Sept. 18: Military and overseas voters can begin early voting.
Oct. 9: Counties will begin mailing ballots to registered voters. Drop boxes open in some counties.
Oct. 16: Last date at which mail ballots can be sent out by county clerks.
Oct. 19: Ballot drop boxes, Voter Services and Polling Centers open statewide.
Oct. 26: Deadline to register to vote or update your voter registration and still receive a mail-in ballot.
Oct. 27: Officials say that you should no longer try mailing your ballot back by the Tuesday before the election and should instead use a drop box or go to a polling center.
Nov. 3: Election Day — ballots must be dropped off by 7 p.m. and voters in line at polling centers before 7 p.m. will be able to cast ballots.
Nov. 12: Last day for county clerks to receive military and overseas ballots and last day to cure a signature for voters who need to do so.