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Permanent Absentee Voter List Availability

In addition to policies governing which voters qualify for absentee ballots, some states have implemented options for voters to sign up to be placed on a list to permanently receive absentee ballots each election. States differ on whether all voters or only certain voters are eligible for this option, and other states allow annual or bi-annual sign ups. In addition, certain states will send applications rather than actual ballots. Following the 2020 election, a small number of Republican states have implemented bans on the unsolicited distribution of absentee ballots or applications.
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 allows some or all voters to sign up for a permanent absentee list to receive ballots (22 states, + D.C.)
  • State allows some or all voters to sign up for annual or bi-annual absentee list to receive ballots OR permanent list to receive applications (11 states)
  • State has no applicable law (13 states)
  • State bans unsolicited distribution of absentee ballots or applications (4 states)

Breakdown by Population

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

46%

46 % of voting-eligible population lives in states that allow some or all voters to sign up for a permanent absentee list to receive ballots

21%

21 % of voting-eligible population lives in states that allow some or all voters to sign up for annual or bi-annual absentee list to receive ballots OR permanent list to receive applications

20%

20 % of voting-eligible population lives in states that have no applicable law

13%

13 % of voting-eligible population lives in states that ban unsolicited distribution of absentee ballots or applications



Data current as of 10/29/2021
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Sexual Orientation Policy Tally

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.

Gender Identity Policy Tally

“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.

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