Absentee BallotsAbsentee ballots are used in every state to ensure that residents who cannot make it to the polls on Election Day are still able to vote. States set their own guidelines for eligibility and how to obtain an absentee ballot. Many people who would not have voted otherwise have been able to cast a ballot because of absentee voting. Since 2004, absentee ballots have made up about 30% of all votes cast in presidential elections.
How states can improve absentee ballots:
- Set uniform standards - Some states do not allow "no excuse" absentee voting. No American should be forced to tell their state why he or she needs an absentee ballot. Every citizen deserves the right to vote with no questions asked.
- Send absentee ballots out on time - As was the case in Broward County, Florida, 58,000 absentee ballots were sent out late for the 2004 election. Many voters simply did not have the time to mark their ballot and send it in to be counted. Some voters on vacation actually flew home so they could vote on time, but many were still unable to vote.