A Look at Voting Laws in Every State

Voting seems like a relatively straightforward ritual that remains largely the same year after year. That is, until 2020. Between the coronavirus pandemic, massive delays at the post office, ongoing concerns about voting fraud, and a series of new voting laws in many states, this November's election will no doubt be unlike any the country has had in the past.

It could play out in a couple different ways. If the upcoming election looks anything like what the country saw with the primaries earlier this year, voters might wait weeks to receive an absentee ballot and be at high risk of having their vote thrown out. States rejected tens of thousands of ballots they received by mail earlier this year over confusion about instructions on how to fill them out properly and delays with the postal service. But there's also an opportunity for the upcoming election to go much more smoothly. Many states have expanded the ability for people to vote by mail, thrown out voter ID requirements, and even started offering outdoor polling sites to help people stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Voting laws in every state
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No two states are exactly alike when it comes to the rules around voting, though, so it's important to read up on your local voting laws and create a plan to cast your vote. Using a combination of sources including the National Conference of State Legislatures, Ballotpedia, RepresentUs, and Vote.org, Stacker compiled a list of voting laws and policies for every state and Washington D.C. These laws include voter identification laws: Some states require identification (either with a photo or without), some don't, and some make voters show proof of identification at a later date for their vote to count (also known as "strict" laws).

The story also includes each state's mail-in voting status, the state's policies on early voting and voting with a felony conviction, as well as the deadlines for registering to vote. This list is up to date as of Sept. 18, 2020, but due to the nature of elections and the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is always a good idea to check your state's specific voting laws before making a plan for registering and going to vote. Make sure to note any requirements about showing an ID, as well.

Click through to see how voting laws vary by state.

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Alabama
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Alabama

- Voter ID law: photo ID requested
- State mail-in voting status: temporarily allowing vote-by-mail options due to the COVID-19 crisis
- Early voting policy: early voting is not permitted
- Felony voting law: felons with certain convictions are permanently disenfranchised
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 19, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 19, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 19, 2020

Alabama is among a handful of states that haven't waived their requirement for voters to get a witness or a notary signature to validate their absentee ballots during the pandemic. That could make it difficult for people who live by themselves and can't make it to the polling place in-person to have their votes counted, reports Quinn Scanlan of ABC News.

Alaska
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Alaska

- Voter ID law: ID requested, photo not required
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated upon completion of sentence (including prison time, parole, and probation)
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 4, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 4, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 3, 2020

Civil rights groups are suing the state of Alaska over its requirement for absentee voters to get a witness signature on their ballots, reports James Brooks of Anchorage Daily News. The groups say that the mandate could force Alaskans "to choose between voting and their health" amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Arizona
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Arizona

- Voter ID law: strict ID laws, photo not required
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights are automatically reinstated to an individual with one felony conviction upon completion of sentence, two or more convictions requires government approval
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 5, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 5, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 5, 2020

Democratic parties at both the state and national level are suing Arizona over a law that throws out mail-in ballots if they aren't signed by voters, writes Howard Fischer of Arizona Capitol Times. Last year, lawmakers in the state agreed to extend a five-day grace period in which voters could "cure" their ballots if county election officials believe a person's signature on their absentee ballot envelope doesn't look like what's on file. Attorneys would like Arizona to create a similar remedy for voters who forget to sign their ballot.

Arkansas
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Arkansas

- Voter ID law: photo ID requested
- State mail-in voting status: temporarily allowing vote-by-mail options due to the COVID-19 crisis
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated upon completion of sentence (including prison time, parole, and probation)
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 4, 2020
--- Online registration: not applicable
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 5, 2020

Voters in Arkansas are required by law to include a copy of their driver's license or other ID with their absentee ballot. Those who don't have a copy of their ID can only vote provisionally, reports Leslie Newell Peacock of the Arkansas Times.

California
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California

- Voter ID law: no document required to vote
- State mail-in voting status: vote by mail is the default (all voters are mailed a ballot)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison and parole time
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Nov. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 19, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 19, 2020

The state of California is sending every registered voter a mail-in ballot in the month leading up to election day this year. Californians can still cast their votes in person if they so choose, however voting sites will be consolidated this year amid the pandemic, according to Jonathan Mehta Stein and Francisco Pedraza of CalMatters.

Colorado
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Colorado

- Voter ID law: ID requested, photo not required
- State mail-in voting status: vote by mail is the default (all voters are mailed a ballot)
- Early voting policy: not applicable because of mail-in voting
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison sentence
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Nov. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 26, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 26, 2020

In 2019, Colorado extended the right to vote in primaries to 17-year-olds, as long as their 18th birthday would occur ahead of the general election. That rule may be reversed this November if Coloradans vote in favor of Amendment 76, which would limit voting solely to people age 18 and up, reports Jesse Paul of the Colorado Sun.

Connecticut
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Connecticut

- Voter ID law: ID requested, photo not required
- State mail-in voting status: temporarily allowing vote-by-mail options due to the COVID-19 crisis
- Early voting policy: early voting is not permitted
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison and parole time
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Nov. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 27, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 27, 2020

Only ballots that are received by the time the polls close on Election Day will be counted in Connecticut, per the state's law. Officials are encouraging people to submit their ballots in secure drop boxes to ensure they are received on time, writes Rich Kirby of Patch.

Delaware
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Delaware

- Voter ID law: ID requested, photo not required
- State mail-in voting status: temporarily allowing vote-by-mail options due to the COVID-19 crisis.
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: felons with certain convictions are permanently disenfranchised
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 10, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 10, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 10, 2020

Postal Service General Counsel Thomas Marshall told the Delaware state election commissioner in August that the state's laws on "deadliness for requesting and casting mail-in ballots" did not adhere to the postal service's delivery guidelines. According to Marshall's letter, Delaware law states that absentee ballots will be sent to voters until the four days leading up to Election Day, which might not be enough time for the post office to deliver the ballot.

Florida
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Florida

- Voter ID law: photo ID requested
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: felons with certain convictions are permanently disenfranchised
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 5, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 5, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 5, 2020

A federal appellate court ruled on Sept. 11 that felons in Florida must pay all fines, as well as any legal fees and restitution, in order to exercise the right to vote, according to the Associated Press. The decision was a reversal of a lower court's ruling that extended the right to vote to all Florida felons who had finished their prison sentences, even if they still had outstanding financial obligations. There is no centralized database available to former felons where they can see if they owe any fines or fees, making it extremely difficult to know if they can legally cast a vote.

Georgia
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Georgia

- Voter ID law: strict photo ID laws
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated upon completion of sentence (including prison time, parole, and probation)
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 5, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 5, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 5, 2020

County election officials in Georgia may change the status of tens of thousands of voters to "inactive" after absentee ballot applications sent to them earlier this year were returned as undeliverable, reports Mark Niesse of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. These voters can still cast their votes in the November 2020 election, but their inactive status puts them at risk of canceled voter registration down the road.

Hawaii
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Hawaii

- Voter ID law: photo ID requested
- State mail-in voting status: vote by mail is the default (all voters are mailed a ballot)
- Early voting policy: not applicable because of mail-in voting
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison sentence
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Nov. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 5, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 5, 2020

A new law in Hawaii allowed the state to move forward with voting by mail for the 2020 election. The legislation, known as Act 136, also included a provision that allows any person with a disability to request an electronic ballot, per Blaze Lovell of the Honolulu Civil Beat.

Idaho
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Idaho

- Voter ID law: photo ID requested
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated upon completion of sentence (including prison time, parole, and probation)
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Nov. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 9, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 9, 2020

Idaho county clerks are asking the state to pass a law that would allow them to start counting absentee ballots received ahead of Election Day. They say that they don't have the resources to run a massive absentee election on top of the in-person election, and early counting of votes could ease the strain, writes Kristina Glascock, president of the Idaho Association of County Recorders and Clerks.

Illinois
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Illinois

- Voter ID law: no document required to vote
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison sentence
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Nov. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 18, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 6, 2020

Earlier this year, the Illinois General Assembly passed special election laws that required local election authorities to send mail-in ballot applications to anyone who had voted in one of three recent elections, reports WIFR. The applications were mailed to 6.4 million people in the state, and more than 1.1 million had already been returned as of Aug. 28.

Indiana
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Indiana

- Voter ID law: strict photo ID laws
- State mail-in voting status: voters need an "excuse" to request vote-by-mail ballot ("excuse required")
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison sentence
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 5, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 5, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 5, 2020

In mid-August, a federal judge ruled against an Indiana group that sought to offer mail-in voting for all voters, regardless of excuse, in the 2020 election, reports Tom Davies of the Associated Press. A day before that ruling, another federal judge decided against the state's process of allowing differing voter signatures to invalidate absentee ballots.

Iowa
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Iowa

- Voter ID law: ID requested, photo not required
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated upon completion of sentence (including prison time, parole, and probation), except for felony homicide convictions, which require government approval
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Nov. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 24, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 19, 2020

The Iowa secretary of state told county auditors in mid-August that they did not have legal authority to set up ballot drop boxes for the November elections, report Stephen Gruber-Miller and Zachary Oren Smith of the Des Moines Register. At least one in three county auditors in the state say they had previously created a drop box system for voters to deposit their ballots.

Kansas
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Kansas

- Voter ID law: strict photo ID laws
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated upon completion of sentence (including prison time, parole, and probation)
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 13, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 13, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 13, 2020

The attorney general of Kansas announced in June that he would fight a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that prohibited the state from requiring people to provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote, reports John Hanna of the Associated Press. The court had previously said that the law was a violation of the constitutional right of equal legal protection and a federal law on voter registration.

Kentucky
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Kentucky

- Voter ID law: ID requested, photo not required
- State mail-in voting status: temporarily allowing vote-by-mail options due to the COVID-19 crisis.
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: felons with certain convictions are permanently disenfranchised
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 5, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 5, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 5, 2020

The Kentucky general assembly passed a new law earlier this year that requires voters to have a photo I.D. from "a governmental, military, or educational institution," writes Neville Blakemore in an opinion piece for the Courier Journal. Some lawmakers, including House Minority Whip Angie Hatton, opposed the law, saying it makes it too difficult for people to comply with voting rules.

Louisiana
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Louisiana

- Voter ID law: photo ID requested
- State mail-in voting status: voters need an "excuse" to request vote-by-mail ballot ("excuse required")
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated upon completion of sentence (including prison time, parole, and probation) or who have not been incarcerated in the last five years
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 4, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 14, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 4, 2020

An ongoing federal lawsuit is seeking to increase voter access to mail-in ballots in Louisiana for the November election amid the pandemic, reports Mark Ballard of The Advocate. The state had already received nearly triple the usual number of absentee ballot requests by Sept. 9, and officials say they may not have the resources to process them quickly enough.

Maine
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Maine

- Voter ID law: no document required to vote
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights are always retained, regardless of conviction
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Nov. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: not applicable
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 19, 2020

A lawsuit is calling on Maine to make it easier for voters to cast mail-in ballots ahead of the November election. The plaintiffs, which include the Alliance of Retired Americans and Vote.org, are asking the state to extend the deadline by which absentee ballots can be received, provide prepaid postage for these ballots, and create a way for people to register to vote online, reports Alyce McFadden of Beacon.

Maryland
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Maryland

- Voter ID law: no document required to vote
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison sentence
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Nov. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 13, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 13, 2020

In mid-August, some counties in Maryland asked state election officials to send them additional absentee ballot drop boxes out of concern about delays at the U.S. Postal Service, reports Nick Iannelli of WTOP. Montgomery County, for example, is asking for at least 40 drop boxes (compared with its usual two or three), while Prince George County has requested an additional 36 boxes.

Massachusetts
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Massachusetts

- Voter ID law: no document required to vote
- State mail-in voting status: temporarily allowing vote-by-mail options due to the COVID-19 crisis
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison sentence
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 14, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 14, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 14, 2020

Massachusetts voters will decide this November whether they wish to implement ranked-choice voting. Also known as instant runoff, ranked-choice voting would have voters list the candidates "in order of preference," rather than using their vote solely for one candidate, reports Jim Kinney of MassLive.

Michigan
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Michigan

- Voter ID law: photo ID requested
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison sentence
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Nov. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 19, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 19, 2020

The Michigan state legislature is considering new bills that would allow absentee ballots to be counted before Election Day. If passed, the bills would also extend the deadline for when these ballots can arrive, write Annie Grayer and Marshall Cohen of CNN.

Minnesota
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Minnesota

- Voter ID law: no document required to vote
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated upon completion of sentence (including prison time, parole, and probation)
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Nov. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 13, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 13, 2020

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in early September that residents could help an unlimited number of voters cast their ballots in the upcoming election. There had previously been a law that restricted people from helping more than three other voters, according to Stephen Montemayor of the Star Tribune.

Mississippi
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Mississippi

- Voter ID law: strict photo ID laws
- State mail-in voting status: voters need an "excuse" to request vote-by-mail ballot ("excuse required")
- Early voting policy: early voting is not permitted
- Felony voting law: felons with certain convictions are permanently disenfranchised
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 4, 2020
--- Online registration: not applicable
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 4, 2020

A lawsuit filed in late August is challenging tight restrictions on absentee voting laws in Mississippi. The state only allows absentee voting for people ages 65 and up, voters with permanent disabilities, voters who are away from their home county on the day of the election, and people who have to work while the polls are open, according to the Associated Press.

Missouri
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Missouri

- Voter ID law: ID requested, photo not required
- State mail-in voting status: temporarily allowing vote-by-mail options due to the COVID-19 crisis.
- Early voting policy: early voting is not permitted
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated upon completion of sentence (including prison time, parole, and probation)
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 7, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 7, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 7, 2020

When Missouri expanded absentee ballot options during the pandemic, the state also included a requirement that most voters must get their mail-in ballot notarized in order to be counted. Voters in St. Louis teamed up with a national nonprofit to challenge the notarization requirement in court in mid-August, writes Bryan Lowry of The Kansas City Star.

Montana
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Montana

- Voter ID law: ID requested, photo not required
- State mail-in voting status: vote by mail is the default (all voters are mailed a ballot)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison sentence
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Nov. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: not applicable
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 4, 2020

The Republican Party and President Trump's reelection campaign are suing the state of Montana over Gov. Steve Bullock's decision to allow counties to hold the November election entirely by mail if they so choose, reports Explore Big Sky. Gov. Bullock responded to the suit, saying that it seems to be part of a bigger pattern of the Republican Party's attempts at limiting access to voting.

Nebraska
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Nebraska

- Voter ID law: no document required to vote
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights are reinstated two years after completion of sentence (including prison time, parole and probation)
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 23, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 16, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 16, 2020

Counties in Nebraska have the option to hold elections entirely by mail. This year, the state is also sending every registered voter an absentee ballot application, in addition to the voting by mail elections some counties already hold, reports Dylan Matthews of Vox.

Nevada
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Nevada

- Voter ID law: no document required to vote
- State mail-in voting status: vote by mail is the default (all voters are mailed a ballot).
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison sentence
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Nov. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 29, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 6, 2020

In August, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak approved a new law to mail ballots to all active voters before the November election. A couple of weeks later, President Trump's reelection campaign and the GOP challenged the law in court, arguing that it "would undermine the election's integrity," writes Kevin Freking of the Associated Press.

New Hampshire
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New Hampshire

- Voter ID law: ID requested, photo not required
- State mail-in voting status: temporarily allowing vote-by-mail options due to the COVID-19 crisis
- Early voting policy: early voting is not permitted without a valid excuse
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison sentence
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Nov. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: not applicable
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 21-28, 2020

The New Hampshire attorney general said that the state's Republican Party broke an election law when it distributed absentee ballot applications, reports Dan Barrick of New Hampshire Public Radio. The forms sent by the Republican Party had misleading information about where to return the ballot applications, which it says was the result of a "printing error."

New Jersey
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New Jersey

- Voter ID law: no document required to vote
- State mail-in voting status: vote by mail is the default (all voters are mailed a ballot.)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison sentence
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 13, 2020
--- Online registration: not applicable
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 13, 2020

In August, Gov. Phil Murphy approved a new legislative package to support a vote-by-mail election this November, says Tom Davis of Patch. The package requires that county boards of elections install ballot drop boxes no less than 45 days before Election Day, and that election officials provide voters with an explanation and an opportunity to correct an error if their ballots are rejected, among other measures.

New Mexico
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New Mexico

- Voter ID law: no document required to vote
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated upon completion of sentence (including prison time, parole, and probation)
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 6, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 6, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 6, 2020

New laws in New Mexico mandate that local election officials send a mail-in ballot application to every registered voter ahead of the general election, reports Keith Goble of Land Line. The state also has a law that allows international observers to keep an eye on elections, according to Timothy Rich of The Conversation.

New York
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New York

- Voter ID law: no document required to vote
- State mail-in voting status: voters need an "excuse" to request vote-by-mail ballot ("excuse required")
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison and parole time
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 9, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 9, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 9, 2020

In August, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed three new laws that create more flexibility for New York voters this fall. The legislation allows voters to immediately request absentee ballots beginning Aug. 20, permits absentee ballots for people who are at risk of an illness, and allows any ballot postmarked through Election Day to be counted, reports Robert Pozarycki of AMNY.

North Carolina
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North Carolina

- Voter ID law: photo ID requested
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated upon completion of sentence (including prison time, parole, and probation)
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 31 if voting early, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 9, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 9, 2020

A Superior Court panel ruled on Sept. 4 that felons in North Carolina are eligible to vote even if they're on probation due to unpaid fines or court fees, writes Herbert L. White of The Charlotte Post. A previous law restricting people in this situation was deemed a violation of the Equal Protection clause.

North Dakota
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North Dakota

- Voter ID law: strict ID laws, photo not required
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison sentence
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: not applicable
--- Online registration: not applicable
--- Mailed registration: not applicable

The North Dakota Supreme Court ruled against a plan to include a measure to create new election processes on the November ballot, reports Mike McCleary of The Bismarck Tribune. The initiative aimed to implement new processes for military members voting overseas, auditing elections, instant runoffs, and open primaries.

Ohio
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Ohio

- Voter ID law: strict ID laws, photo not required
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison sentence
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 5, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 4, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 5, 2020

In late August, the Ohio Democratic Party sued the state's Secretary of State Frank LaRose for refusing to install additional ballot drop boxes for people who are voting absentee, writes Katelyn Polantz of CNN. LaRose had previously decided that each county would only receive one drop box for the November election.

Oklahoma
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Oklahoma

- Voter ID law: ID requested, photo not required
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated upon completion of sentence (including prison time, parole, and probation)
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 9, 2020
--- Online registration: not applicable
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 9, 2020

A federal court in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is hearing a case challenging the state's requirement for mail-in ballots to have a notarization in order to be counted, according to an Aug. 27 article by Curtis Killman of Tulsa World. Opponents of the law say that it could disenfranchise voters amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oregon
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Oregon

- Voter ID law: no document required to vote
- State mail-in voting status: vote by mail is the default (all voters are mailed a ballot)
- Early voting policy: not applicable because of mail-in voting
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison sentence
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 13, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 13, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 13, 2020

Oregon is among the five states that primarily focus on mail-based elections. It has distributed more than 100 million ballots by mail since 2000, according to Reuters. It has also found only a dozen cases of voting fraud in that time.

Pennsylvania
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Pennsylvania

- Voter ID law: no document required to vote
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: early voting is not permitted without a valid excuse
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison sentence
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 19, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 19, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 19, 2020

Pennsylvania passed a couple of new voting rules in 2019 that could impact the 2020 elections. That year, the state stopped allowing straight-ticket voting and began allowing mail-in voting for everyone—regardless of whether a voter had a reason they can't go to the polls in person, reports Mark Scolforo of the Associated Press.

Rhode Island
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Rhode Island

- Voter ID law: photo ID requested
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: early voting is not permitted without a valid excuse
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison sentence
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 4, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 4, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 4, 2020

Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea has slammed the U.S. Postal Service for sending out a postcard with "misinformation" about the 2020 elections, according to a Sept. 13 article in the CT Post. While the postcard tells the recipient to request a mail-in ballot no less than 15 days ahead of Election Day, Rhode Island requires voters to submit their absentee ballot request at least 21 days ahead of time.

South Carolina
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South Carolina

- Voter ID law: photo ID requested
- State mail-in voting status: voters need an "excuse" to request vote-by-mail ballot ("excuse required")
- Early voting policy: early voting is not permitted without a valid excuse
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated upon completion of sentence (including prison time, parole, and probation)
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 4, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 5, 2020

South Carolina lawmakers were expected to pass a bill expanding absentee voting for the November election in mid-September, according to a Sept. 10 article from Maayan Schechter of The State. If passed, the law would shift certain deadlines for absentee ballot requests earlier.

South Dakota
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South Dakota

- Voter ID law: photo ID requested
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated upon completion of sentence (including prison time, parole, and probation)
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 19, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 4, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 19, 2020

In February, lawmakers in South Dakota rejected a proposed measure that would have allowed Native Americans to show their tribal IDs as documentation for voter registration, reports Geoff West of The Fulcrum. Some lawmakers expressed concern that the IDs could not be verified and may lead to fraud. Tribal IDs are already used by the federal government in other capacities, including at airport security checkpoints.

Tennessee
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Tennessee

- Voter ID law: strict photo ID laws
- State mail-in voting status: voters need an "excuse" to request vote-by-mail ballot ("excuse required").
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: felons with certain convictions are permanently disenfranchised
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 5, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct 4, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 5, 2020

On Sept. 9, a federal judge blocked a law in Tennessee that would have prohibited first-time voters from participating in the election unless they provided identification ahead of time, according to Jonathan Mattise of the Associated Press. U.S. District Judge Eli Richardson wrote that the decision was in the public interest, and that the law may have violated the First Amendment.

Texas
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Texas

- Voter ID law: photo ID requested
- State mail-in voting status: voters need an "excuse" to request vote-by-mail ballot ("excuse required")
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated upon completion of sentence (including prison time, parole, and probation)
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 5, 2020
--- Online registration: not applicable
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 5, 2020

A Texas state judge ruled on Sept. 11 that the most populous county in the state can proceed with plans to distribute mail-in ballot applications to all registered voters ahead of the November election, according to Kevin McGill and Acacia Coronado of the Associated Press. The state typically only allows voters who meet certain criteria, such as being age 65 or older or having a disability, to vote by mail.

Utah
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Utah

- Voter ID law: ID requested, photo not required
- State mail-in voting status: vote by mail is the default (all voters are mailed a ballot)
- Early voting policy: not applicable because of mail-in voting
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison sentence
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Nov. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 27, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 5, 2020

In August, Utah legislators unanimously approved new laws to expand voting options for the November election. The legislation will require in-person voting options in every county, provide outdoor polls, and install more ballot drop boxes in less populated areas, according to Sophia Eppolito of the Associated Press.

Vermont
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Vermont

- Voter ID law: no document required to vote
- State mail-in voting status: vote by mail is the default (all voters are mailed a ballot).
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights are always retained, regardless of conviction
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Nov. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 30, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Nov. 3, 2020

Vermont has decided to send mail-in ballots to all registered voters this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic. The measure includes people who use a prison address, as Vermont is one of just two states that allow inmates to vote, writes Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff of The Fulcrum.

Virginia
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Virginia

- Voter ID law: ID requested, photo not required
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated upon completion of sentence (including prison time, parole, and probation), reinstated individually by the governor or another official
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 12, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 12, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 12, 2020

Virginia's Democrat-controlled state legislature has passed a series of statewide voting reforms this year, reports Brittany Gibson of The American Prospect. They repealed a law requiring an ID to vote, turned Election Day into an official holiday, increased the number of hours polling places were open, and began automatic voter registration through the Department of Motor Vehicles, among other measures.

Washington
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Washington

- Voter ID law: ID requested, photo not required
- State mail-in voting status: vote by mail is the default (all voters are mailed a ballot)
- Early voting policy: not applicable because of mail-in voting
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated upon completion of sentence (including prison time, parole, and probation)
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Nov. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 26, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 26, 2020

Election officials in Washington are concerned that a postcard from the U.S. Postal Service could confuse voters ahead of the election. The state already sends mail-in ballots with postage-paid envelopes to all registered voters, despite the mailer indicating otherwise, according to Orion Donovan-Smith of The Spokesman.

Washington D.C.
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Washington D.C.

- Voter ID law: no document required to vote
- State mail-in voting status: vote by mail is the default (all voters are mailed a ballot).
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated immediately upon completion of prison sentence
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Nov. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: not applicable
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 13, 2020

Washington D.C. is sending mail-in ballots to all voters for the November election, reports Michael Brice-Saddler of the Washington Post. It is also going to install more than 55 drop boxes for people to deposit their ballots.

West Virginia
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West Virginia

- Voter ID law: ID requested, photo not required
- State mail-in voting status: temporarily allowing vote-by-mail options due to the COVID-19 crisis.
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated upon completion of sentence (including prison time, parole, and probation)
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Oct. 13, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 13, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 13, 2020

West Virginia began allowing concerns about the coronavirus to be used as a valid reason to request an absentee ballot for the November election, writes Lexi Browning of the West Virginia Press Association. As of Sept. 9, more than 50,000 voters in the state had requested an absentee ballot.

Wisconsin
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Wisconsin

- Voter ID law: strict photo ID laws
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: voting rights reinstated upon completion of sentence (including prison time, parole, and probation)
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Nov. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: Oct. 14, 2020
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 14, 2020

Wisconsin election laws prohibit absentee ballots from being processed until Election Day, even if they arrive early. The state has been working on scaling up staffing to ensure it has enough workers to count the expected influx of absentee ballots, reports Max Witynski of Wisconsin Watch.

Wyoming
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Wyoming

- Voter ID law: no document required to vote
- State mail-in voting status: any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot (no excuse required)
- Early voting policy: no-excuse early voting is allowed
- Felony voting law: felons with certain convictions are permanently disenfranchised
- Voting registration deadlines:
--- In-person registration: Nov. 3, 2020
--- Online registration: not applicable
--- Mailed registration: Oct. 20, 2020

Election officials in Wyoming are not allowed to count absentee ballots until the end of Election Day. Some counties have been granted an exception, though, as they're expecting many people to vote absentee during the pandemic, according to WyoFile.

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