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No Excuse to Vote from Home

Best Practices

As of 2022, 14 states still require voters to have an excuse in order to obtain a mailed-out ballot. These excuses range from age (65+), disability status, illness, religious beliefs, and more. At National Vote at Home Institute, we fundamentally believe that all voters should have equitable access to a mailed-out ballot.

Why It's Important

  • Increases access. Most Americans no longer work 9 to 5 jobs, so finding time to get to the polls isn’t easy. Plus, it’s no guarantee employers will provide their employees time off to vote. No-excuse mail voting allows people to vote on their own time.
  • Boosts turnout. Numerous studies have shown that when voters have easy access to mailed-out ballots, they vote, often at greater levels than their polling-place counterparts.
  • Cost savings. Eliminating the excuse requirement will increase the number of voters voting by mail, decreasing the number of voters voting in person. Over time this decreases costs for provisional ballots, poll workers, and other in-person expenses.
  • Reduces lines at polling places. Reducing the number of people voting in person will also reduce lines and eventually the number of poll workers needed at each location.

Relevant Research

Example Statutes

Is an excuse required in my state?

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