Absentee / Vote-by-Mail

In our 'Absentee/Vote-by-Mail' category of stories, we explore the experiences of voters who've encountered unique challenges when voting by absentee ballot or with vote-by-mail methods.

US.VOTE and our parent organization, U.S. Vote Foundation, are strong proponents of absentee voting and we provide services to voters seeking to partake in the process. Nevertheless, we are well aware that every voting process can bring new challenges to voters.

In these personal interviews, you'll get a sense of the issues that some voters have faced when navigating the absentee voting process, and how these issues were overcome. These voter stories can help alleviate concerns or address questions you may have had about voting by absentee ballot or by mail.

We invite you to explore the stories of voters who have exercised their fundamental right to vote through these safe, convenient methods.

Is it challenging to get to the polls due to your working hours? If you'll be busy working on Election Day and may need an absentee ballot, you'll relate to Julia's voter story.

As a free lance make-up artist who also holds another position in the cosmetic industry, Julia often cannot predict or schedule her working hours very far in advance. Her employment is subject to the wishes of her clients or the planning of her manager. While she enjoys the vibe of voting in person, Julia also does not want to miss out a voting whether due to opportunity or obligation. Take a look at the factors Julia is considering to see if voting by absentee ballot could be a preferred method for you.

Have you developed health concerns, mobility issues, or vision difficulties as you age? You may want to weigh your voting options as retirees Dave and Jane have.

Similar to Julia, Dave and Jane have enjoyed going to their polling location on Election Day but are planning strategically for the next decade. They are finding out if their state allows seniors to vote by mail or whether their state may require a qualified health condition to use an absentee ballot. Many Americans were introduced to the convenience of widespread voting accommodations such as drop boxes or absentee ballots being mailed to voters without applications during the height of the Covid pandemic in 2020 - and would like to know if these methods continue to be available. Dave and Jane's voting story covers voting over the lifespan and how our civic identities have changed.

Do you second guess voting by absentee ballot or by mail? Beth has been there.

It can be cathartic and reassuring to feed your ballot directly into a voting machine in person on Election Day. You can watch your vote being processed with your own eyes. If you send in your ballot through the mail or by drop box, it sometimes feels like a leap of faith even when you intellectually and experientially know your vote will be counted. But just to be clear - absentee voting is safe, easy, quick and secure - and you can even track your ballot through U.S. Vote Foundation if you like the satisfaction of having "eyes" on the process.

Beth was out-of-state at college and had been planning to vote with an absentee ballot through the mail. She knew absentee ballots are a reliable and excellent option for her, but she just couldn't be sure her envelope would arrive in time as Election Day inched closer. If you have a concern about missing a deadline for absentee voting after requesting a ballot, read about Beth's voting odyssey. And discover whether your state would permit you to vote in person if you have applied to vote by absentee or mail-in ballot.

Educate yourself about mail-in ballots and absentee ballots through these real life experiences to prepare yourself for this flexible option in our increasingly mobile, remote society.

If you have a question about mail-in or absentee voting that we haven't addressed, or would like to share your own voting story with this method of balloting, please reach out to the YES Campaign!