Can I Still Mail Out My Absentee Ballot? Don't Panic Just Yet
The long presidential campaign is almost over. All that's left is to actually vote for your candidate of choice. Millions of Americans will be heading to the polls, but others are voting by mail-in ballot. But is it too late to mail in absentee ballots?
The answer is that it depends. By this point, Americans who intend to mail their ballots in should have already registered to vote and requested an absentee ballot. Some states allow you to request your ballot up until Nov. 7, but most have earlier deadlines. If you haven't requested a ballot or registered to vote, you may still be able to cast your ballot. In some states and the District of Columbia, you can register to vote on Election Day at the polls, CBS reported. These states include Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. You can also vote without registering in North Dakota, where no registration is required as long as you bring identification and meet the voting requirements.
Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia allow voters to opt to vote-by-mail even if they would theoretically be able to make it to the polls. Other states have restrictions on who can vote by absentee ballot. These restrictions vary by state.
If you already have your mail-in ballot, but you just haven't mailed it in, don't panic yet. Most states simply require your absentee ballot to either be postmarked by Nov. 8 or arrive at its counting place on Election Day. And in many states you can actually return your mail-in ballot in person at ballot drop places. You can make sure of the exact rules and deadlines by consulting with your local election offices.
There are three states where the default is voting by mail: Washington, Colorado, and Oregon. Washington and Oregon don't have polling places, while voters in Colorado can vote in person on Election Day. On the other hand, Washington provides designated ballot drop boxes, and the ballots can also be returned in person to the county elections department by 8 p.m. PT on Nov. 8, according to Ballotpedia. You can vote in person on Election Day in Oregon at a local municipal clerk's office, but all votes must be received by 8 p.m. local time.
Interestingly enough, Donald Trump has urged early voters who may have cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton to change their votes. Some states do actually allow mail-in voters to change their votes, but the rules differ from state-to-state. We'll have to see if any Clinton voters take Trump up on the offer.