Who may Request an Absentee Ballot?
- To receive a mail-in absentee ballot for an election, a voter or the voter’s near relative (spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, or stepchild) or legal guardian, or any member of a multipartisan assistance team (MAT) authorized to assist voters, must first use the State Absentee Ballot Request Form to request the ballot.
Assistance Requesting an Absentee Ballot
- Voters who are blind or disabled, or who cannot read or write may receive assistance in completing the request form. Effective July 1 for the 2020 general election, any member of a multipartisan assistance team, or MAT team, may assist any voter in completing a State Absentee Ballot Request Form. MAT team members may also deliver a completed request form to the county board of elections and serve as a witness for the casting of an absentee ballot.
- If the assistance is provided by someone other than a near relative or legal guardian, that person’s name and address must be listed on the State Absentee Ballot Request Form.
Returning the Absentee Ballot Request Form
For the November 2020 general election, completed State Absentee Ballot Request Forms may be emailed, faxed, mailed or hand-delivered to the voter's county board of elections by one of the following:
- the voter;
- the voter’s near relative or verifiable legal guardian; or
- a member of a multipartisan assistance team (MAT).
Forms delivered by any other person will not be processed.
Completed absentee ballot request forms may be delivered by mail by the U.S. Postal Service or designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7502(f).
A signed and completed State Absentee Ballot Request Form must be received by the county board of elections office no later than 5 p.m. on the Tuesday before the date of the election for which the ballot is being requested ( 5 p.m. October 27, 2020, for the 2020 general election). The State Board strongly recommends voters request a ballot as soon as possible to avoid problems due to postal delays and to allow for time to request any possible issues with your request.
Requests received after the absentee request deadline will not be considered on time, regardless of any postmark date.
Request forms delivered by the deadline to the State Board will be considered timely. In the interest of ensuring that county boards of elections are able to promptly process voters’ absentee requests, we strongly recommend that forms be submitted to the voter's county board of elections.
2020 Deadlines for Requesting an Absentee Ballot
- November General Election: By 5 p.m. Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Invalid Absentee Ballot Requests
- A request for absentee ballots is not valid if any of the following apply:
- The completed written request is not on the State Absentee Ballot Request Form.
- The completed written request is completed, partially or in whole, or signed by anyone other than the voter, the voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian, or a MAT member.
- The written request does not contain all of the required information.
- The completed written request is returned to the county board by someone who is not authorized to return the request.
Copying & Distributing Absentee Ballot Request Forms
- Individuals may copy and distribute the official State Absentee Ballot Request Form, as long as it is blank. Individuals and groups should include the absentee ballot request form instructions when distributing request forms.
- No one may create their own absentee ballot request form.