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Additional Requirements to Return Absentee Ballots

In most states, when a voter casts their absentee ballot, they can simply return the ballot through the mail or in person at a drop box or election office. However, some steps impose additional required steps that can create barriers to voters casting their ballot. These additional steps usually consist of requiring a notary or witness signature or requiring a photocopy of acceptable identification.
United States Map
Washington New York U.S. Virgin Islands Puerto Rico Guam Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands American Samoa New Hampshire Vermont Virginia Pennsylvania New York Maine West Virginia Ohio Kentucky Indiana Michigan Illinois Wisconsin North Carolina South Carolina Tennessee Georgia Florida Mississippi Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Iowa Minnesota Oklahoma Kansas Nebraska South Dakota North Dakota Texas 33 Colorado Wyoming Montana Idaho Arizona Utah Nevada Oregon California Hawaii Alaska Massachusetts Rhode Island Connecticut New Jersey Delaware Maryland Washington D.C. New Hampshire Vermont
  • State does not require photocopy of ID, notary or witness signature(s) to return mail ballot (37 states, + D.C.)
  • State requires witness signature(s) to return mail ballot (7 states)
  • State requires photocopy of ID or notary signature to return mail ballot (6 states)

Breakdown by Population

*Note: These percentages reflect the voting-eligible population, as reported by the United States Election Project.

7%

7 % of voting-eligible population lives in states that requires photocopy of ID or notary signature to return mail ballot

13%

13 % of voting-eligible population lives in states that requires witness signature(s) to return mail ballot

80%

80 % of voting-eligible population lives in states that does not require photocopy of ID, notary or witness signature(s) to return mail ballot



Data current as of 10/29/2021
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The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

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