Can I Change My Mind After Requesting an Absentee Ballot?

I requested an absentee ballot. Can I change my mind and vote at the polls? Here are your state-specific rules.

With all the chatter about different ways of voting, many people are wondering about their options. We are receiving a lot of inquiries from voters about whether someone can change their mind and go to the polls if they have already requested an absentee ballot. Unfortunately, there is no single answer - it varies by state. This chart will help you determine what works best for you.

If you do change your mind and decide to go to the polls, in most cases, you’ll be asked to sign a sworn statement attesting that you have not already voted. You cannot go to the polls to change your vote, if you already cast your ballot. (Those are two very different things, friends;-) Voting more than once is against the law. 

In all cases, we recommend sticking to your original voting plan - if you requested and received an absentee ballot, it is best to vote that ballot. Changing your mind creates additional work for poll workers and election officials in a year when there is already significant pressure on our election system.  

 

We've identified 5 situations you may encounter, depending on your state: *see below for further detail on the definitions of these 5 situations

Note: These provisions apply to voters who have already requested an absentee ballot.  If you have not requested an absentee ballot, check our Elections Dates and Deadlines page to find out when you can vote in-person and the Early Voting Dates chart for a look at your state's options. 

 

State (1) Regular ballot without surrendering absentee ballot (2) Regular ballot if you surrender absentee ballot; provisional ballot if you do not (3) Provisional ballot for all absentee requests (4) You can only vote-by-mail (5) Notes and Other Circumstances
Alabama     X    
Alaska X        
Arizona     X    
Arkansas     X    
California   X   X  
Colorado X     X  
Connecticut X        
Delaware X        
District of Columbia     X X You can use the mail-in ballot you received to vote in person
Florida X X     Poll workers will confirm that you have not already voted with an absentee ballot
Georgia   X     If you do not surrender an absentee ballot, you will need to fill out a form for the poll workers to have the absentee ballot canceled
Hawaii       X You can return your ballot, or vote, in person
Idaho X        
Illinois   X      
Indiana   X    

You can vote by mail if you meet one of the approved excuses

If you are a first time voter who is voting by mail, you must provide proof of residency if you have not already done so

If you are a voter with disabilities, you may have someone, who is not your employer or union representative, sign your name for you if they fill out the included affidavit 

Iowa   X      
Kansas     X    
Kentucky X       You must vote absentee, unless you have not received your ballot by Oct. 28th
You can vote in person without surrendering your absentee ballot, and the absentee ballot will be canceled
Louisiana X        
Maine X        
Maryland     X    
Massachusetts X        
Michigan X        
Minnesota X        
Mississippi     X    
Missouri   X     You may vote in person by contacting your local election official to make an appointment
Montana X     46 of 56 counties are vote by mail only You may drop off your ballot rather than mail it, the location is provided in your voter materials, or you can contact your election administrator for a location
Nebraska     X    
Nevada X     X  
New Hampshire X        
New Jersey     X    
New Mexico X        
New York X      

If you have been issued an absentee ballot, you can only vote in person by using an affidavit ballot

North Carolina X        
North Dakota X        
Ohio     X    
Oklahoma X        
Oregon       X You can vote in person at your county's election office
Pennsylvania   X      
Rhode Island     X    
South Carolina X       You may not vote in person with your absentee ballot, it must be returned to your county's voter registration office if you wish to cast your ballot in person
South Dakota X        
Tennessee     X    
Texas X       To vote in person, you do not need to surrender your absentee ballot but must have a poll worker cancel your absentee ballot
Utah X     X  
Vermont X X   X  
Virginia   X      
Washington X     X You may go to a voting center if you want to vote in person
West Virginia   X      
Wisconsin X       You can take your absentee ballot with you to vote absentee in person at your clerk's office, or take your absentee ballot with you to a voting location on Election Day
Wyoming X        

 

 

*Further Useful Information - explanations for your state's provisions on what will happen if you change your mind about voting with an absentee ballot that you already requested: 

  1. You can vote a regular ballot without surrendering absentee ballot: If you vote in these states, you will be given a regular ballot if you go to the polls to vote. You do not need to surrender your absentee ballot to be given a regular ballot.
     
  2. You can vote a regular ballot if you surrender an absentee ballot; provisional if you do not return your ballot: In these states, you must bring your absentee ballot with you and you must surrender it to the election official on-site to use a regular ballot. If you show up without that ballot, you’ll be asked to use a provisional ballot.
     
  3. Absentee ballot requestors will vote with a provisional ballot: These states require voters who change their mind and show up to the polls to use a provisional ballot. It is HIGHLY recommended that you vote using your absentee ballot in all of these states.
     
  4. All vote-by-mail state: In these states, voting by mail is your option. Some jurisdictions may support an election office that allows in-person voting on election day, but in many cases, voting by mail is your only option.
     
  5. Notes and other circumstances: In these states, there is additional information on the listed options, additional options available to you, or requirements that must be met to cast your ballot.