Absentee Ballots

It is always preferable to vote in person on Election Day if possible. If you vote by paper ballot on Election Day, then your ballot is more likely to be included in an examination known as a paper audit. An audit compares the paper records with the electronic voting results to double check the vote tally.

If you cannot get to the polls on Election Day then vote with an absentee ballot. In order to vote absentee, you must request an absentee ballot by the deadline date given in your state.


Pro - Most convenient form of voting, reduces problems of getting to the polls on Election Day, and allows you more time to make choices.

Con - Very often, regardless of the legal requirements, county election officials do not count absentee ballots as required by law. The pressure to issue election results fast is so great that often a complete, accurate count is sacrificed for the sake of speed.

Security of absentee ballots is more questionable because the ballots are out of the voter's custody for a much longer time than when a person votes at the polls. Furthermore, absentee ballots are sometimes not included in audits.

Tips: If you plan to vote absentee, and you have the time, check with your local Elections office first, to find out if you can drop off your ballot at your regular polling location on Elections Day. If you're able to do so, ask the poll worker for a receipt.

ProtectMyVote.org recommends that you drop off your Absentee ballot on Election Day rather than mailing it in.

Make sure the signature on the front of the envelope matches that of the absentee ballot inside.

If you drop off your absentee ballot at either your polling place or the local Elections office, remember to take a photo ID with you just in case.

Check to see if your absentee ballot has the correct 2006 date on it. If it doesn't, call your local party office immediately or a hotline number.