Voter Guide

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on September 22, 2020 # Voting, Advocacy and Policy

In the 2016 presidential election, 16 million of the over 35 million Americans with disabilities cast a ballot. In the 2018 midterm elections, 14 million Americans with disabilities cast a ballot. While these numbers represent a marked increase of voter participation among the disability community, a Rutgers University study suggests these numbers still represent a 4.9% gap in voter participation between those with disabilities and those without disabilities.

Americans with disabilities represent a larger eligible voter block in this country than both African American voters and Latino voters, according to the American Association of People with Disabilities. That is in part because they exist within every measurable demographic. As you know, disability is impartial to race or gender; it lives in every county and every economic bracket of the country. That’s why participation from our friends and family with a disability is essential in the November election to ensure the results accurately reflect the will of all the people.

Amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, more states offer no-excuse absentee voting and are actively strengthening their ability to process mailed ballots. The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, whose mission is to increase the quality of life for people living with paralysis and spinal cord injury, views this upcoming election as a great opportunity to close the participation gap.

To do that, we have compiled voter registration deadlines, absentee ballot application deadlines, and a fact on each state to help the community know what options and services are available for you to fulfill your fundamental civil right. Use this is a guide but be sure to check in with your state board of elections (links provided), as the details around voting are liable to change day to day as states update their capabilities.

And don’t forget, every ballot will include a host of local ballot measures. If you want to study up on the issues facing your state and local community, Ballotpedia has put together a helpful guide.

State

Registration Deadline

Absentee Application Deadline

AL

19-Oct

29-Oct

All voters applying for absentee ballots must check the box marked, "I have a physical illness or infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls" ID required.

AK

4-Oct

29-Oct

If you plan to use a touch screen voting system at your polling place allow 4 weeks to deliver your voter card.

AR

5-Oct

27-Oct

If voting absentee, avoid the possibility of having your ballot marked "provisional" by including accepted forms of ID when you mail your ballot.

AZ

5-Oct

23-Oct

Arizona allows registration to be a permanent early voter. Find application in link.

CA

19-Oct

N/A

California offers Remote Accessible Vote by Mail, allowing you to mark ballot electronically before printing. Contact Disability Rights California Voting Hotline for more information (888) 569-7955.

CO

26-Oct

N/A

All Colorado voters receive a mail in ballot, but the state also provides ballots electronically, to be returned to your county clerk by 7 pm on election day.

CT

27-Oct

N/A

You can apply for permanent absentee status through your town clerk to insure you always get a ballot mailed to you.

DC

13-Oct

N/A

The city will open 16 Early Vote Centers from October 27 to November 2.

DE

10-Oct

30-Oct

Delaware's "vote" online portal provides one space to register to vote and request absentee ballots.

FL

5-Oct

24-Oct

First time voters must provide a photo ID and signature in their absentee ballot

GA

5-Oct

30-Oct

Georgia recently unveiled an online absentee ballot application portal.

HI

5-Oct

N/A

If you don't receive your ballot within five days before the election, all voters can use the Alternate Format Ballot.

IA

24-Oct

24-Oct

If you plan on voting curbside call the county auditor's office ahead of time and let them know.

ID

9-Oct

23-Oct

Idaho offers a variety of services for voters that vary in county, check the website for assistance.

IL

Oct 6 (in by mail)/Oct 18 (online)

29-Oct

Illinois's counties have different voting procedures. Be sure to check on your county's website

IN

5-Oct

22-Oct

First time voters must provide a photo ID and signature in their absentee ballot.

KS

13-Oct

27-Oct

KY

5-Oct

27-Oct

Early voting begins October 13. The state allows walk in voting prior to election day but call the county clerk office ahead of time.

LA

Oct 5 (by mail)/ Oct 13 (Online)

30-Oct

If you are registering to vote, Louisiana's Disability Program requires you to show proof if disability and identity to become a permanent absentee voter.

MA

24-Oct

October 28 (by noon)

The state will be conducting no excuse absentee voting for the general election.

MD

13-Oct

20-Oct

Early voting begins October 26.

ME

13-Oct

29-Oct

Maine allows absentee ballot requests to be made over the phone.

MI

19-Oct

30-Oct

Michigan will email ballots to voters who apply, though you will need to show identification on application.

MN

13-Oct

2-Nov

Minnesota starts accepting absentee ballots 46 days before election day.

MO

7-Oct

21-Oct

Spouses, parents, and children may send in absentee ballot requests on behalf of the voter.

MS

5-Oct

One week before election day

To vote absentee contact the municipal clerk up to 45 days before election day.

MT

5-Oct

November 2 (by noon)

Montana offers an electronic ballot request system to receive and fill out ballots.

NC

9-Oct

10/27/2020 (by 5 pm)

Request an absentee ballot using the online portal.

ND

N/A

2-Nov

North Dakota does not register voters, if you are an eligible voter show prove of ID

NE

16-Oct

23-Oct

Request absentee ballot by mail using the link.

NH

27-Oct

2-Nov

Concerns about Covid-19 are considered legitimate reasons for the absentee application.

NJ

13-Oct

N/A

Track your ballot through the state's Voter Information System.

NM

6-Oct

20-Oct

Voting absentee? The state recommends mailing your ballot no later than October 27.

NV

10/6/2020 (by mail)/ Oct 20 (online)

20-Oct

Nevada's EASE system will be available 45 days prior to election day for online applications.

NY

9-Oct

27-Oct

New York voters can request absentee ballots by calling their county clerk or through the online portal.

OH

5-Oct

10/31/2020 (by noon)

Ohio requires an application to use remote ballot marking system to fill in ballot online.

OK

9-Oct

27-Oct

Oklahoma's ATI interface polls allows voters to plug in "sip and puff" technology or other devices so they can mark their ballot.

OR

13-Oct

N/A

Oregon's Alternate Format Ballot has specific instructions outlined in the link.

PA

19-Oct

27-Oct

The state does not have early voting but sends ballots once your absentee application is received.

RI

4-Oct

10/13/2020 (by 4 pm)

Rhode Island has the earliest deadline for mail in voting applications.

SC

10/5/2020 (by mail)/ Oct 4 (online)

30-Oct

You can request an absentee ballot by phone, email, or mail.

SD

19-Oct

2-Nov

Download South Dakota's absentee ballot form online.

TN

5-Oct

27-Oct

You can be added to the permanent absentee voter list with a doctor's note submitted 7 days before election day.

TX

5-Oct

23-Oct

Texas offers curbside ballot drop off but call your polling place before arriving.

UT

10/23/2020 (by 5 pm online)

N/A

Utah allows eligible voters to submit ballots via email.

VA

13-Oct

23-Oct

Utilize Virginia's citizen's portal to register to vote online.

VT

2-Nov

2-Nov

Vermont does all online voter registration.

WA

26-Oct

N/A

Washington begins mailing ballots 18 days before election day.

WI

14-Oct

29-Oct

Wisconsin will be offering a drive through voting option this year.

WVA

13-Oct

28-Oct

Become a permanent absentee voter with a doctor's note.

WY

19-Oct

2-Nov

Absentee ballots are sent 45 days before election day.