Home > Political & Other Important Issues > Political Issues > Absentee Ballot vs. Mail-In Ballot: Is There A Difference?

Absentee Ballot vs. Mail-In Ballot: Is There A Difference?

  1. Absentee Ballot vs. Mail-In Ballot: Is There A Difference?

    Yes, it’s complicated. But we’ve got a primer for you on absentee ballots vs. mail-in ballots. And please note: use the information in this article for your general information, but consult your local election officials for when and how you may vote. To get started, visit usa.gov and vote.gov.

    What is an absentee ballot?
    Let’s start with some election basics. Normally, most US voters cast their ballots in person in a polling booth at a polling place/station based on where they are registered to vote. A ballot is the physical form (or electronic voting machine equivalent) that a voter fills out; it lists the candidates, issues, and so on that a person votes on.

    An absentee ballot is a ballot used to cast an absentee vote, which is submitted, usually by mail, by an absentee. Absentee, here, refers to a person who can’t physically be present at a voting center on Election Day. Absentee voting in America goes back to the Civil War era, and every state allows this kind of voting in some form—and federal law, in fact, requires ballots be sent to military and overseas voters for federal elections.

    To get an absentee ballot, a registered voter must request one through their state government, which accepts or rejects the application...

    What is a no-excuse absentee ballot?
    Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia** use what’s sometimes called a no-excuse absentee ballot. This is similar to the strict absentee ballot previously noted in the 16 states above, but a registered voter doesn’t have to give a reason (excuse) why they can’t be at their polling location on Election Day. However, the states themselves may simply call this ballot an absentee ballot.

    The lexical wrinkles don’t stop there! Some of these states (e.g., Pennsylvania) may refer to the no-excuse absentee ballot as a mail-in ballot...

    So, what is a mail-in ballot?
    Five states—Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, and Hawaii—already conduct their elections through a mail-in process that’s often referred to as all-mail voting. Registered voters in these states automatically receive a mail ballot, which is sent to their address before Election Day and mailed back by the voter or deposited at a voting location or secure dropbox by a certain time on Election Day...

    There's more at the link...
  2. ... and IF the state scrubs their voter rolls, the unsolicited mail in ballots MIGHT actually be OK.

    Have the elections in WA state been above board since they moved to this approach? How would you know? It's certainly turned bright blue...

    In NC there are approximately 2M names on the voter rolls who are NOT ALIVE or NO LONGER LIVING in the state. These people will ALL get ballots under the new scheme, and you can bet that the majority of them will be mailed in.

    NC does not plan to scrub their voter roles before the election in November.
  3. I know there was a big fight in 18 here in Wisconsin about scrubbing a few hundred thousand ineligible names from the rolls (I think it was that many) and considering we only have like 6 million total population and our last few big elections were decided by less than 40,000 votes, a few hundred thousand extra votes would be a huge deal.
  4. Did absentee once and it was such a hassle I've not done it since.
  5. Did it this year for the special election and it was easy enough, no hassle.

    Except I don't/didn't trust my vote actually got counted.
  6. Did you have to find a notary to prove who you are and sign the forms?
  7. In some states they don't bother to count them unless a normal distribution of the votes in the ballots would tilt an election one way or another.

    Example, if the winner wins by 20,000 votes, and there are only 10,000 absentee ballots, they will not even be counted...
  8. I've done it 15 times at least. I lived overseas for a while and votes in local, state and federal elections absentee. I had to request a ballot through the embassy 8 weeks before the election, and if I did not return it through the embassy 6 weeks before the election, it would not be processed.
  9. If politicians are fine with people going out and protesting arm in arm by the thousands, then they can stand 6 feet apart and vote in person.

    Mail in ballots will be a joke. They will print so many in Dem states that they will be littered everywhere. Giving Dems time after election night to find more ballots is a real threat to election integrity. And that will happen.
  10. We have a problem here. I firmly believe in voter ID at the polls. Thing is my wife has some physical limitations and there is no way she can stand in line to vote. We are seniors and are forced to vote by mail. I really wish I felt better about the situation.
  11. Nope, just had to have any old witness sign the form (in this case, my wife). To get the form I had to send in a copy of my driver's license as proof of citizenship.
  12. That's good. I wasn't that lucky.
  13. Received ours today.
  14. I can say since Washington went to all mail voting, my ballot was not counted at least once. Mailed prior to deadline, months later received notice saying it wasn't post marked in time so was not counted. You can track you ballot in Washington.

    Also Washington's SOS is a Republican. That said, I would say there is an above 50% chance of illegal aliens getting ballots if the have a state issued ID.
  15. [​IMG]
  16. Ahhh, but the real question is, has he talked to his cat about gun safety.
  17. Bet that hard to do because the cat with that curved trigger claw.
  18. If we in N.C. do this it's over. Hell ,our mail carrier cant even get our Amazon to us. I end exchanging mail with the person who gets my mail. All our carrier sees is 116 and drops it at the first one.
  19. USPS doesn’t deliver Amazon here. Even the smallest envelope is delivered by the Amazon van guy.
    We receive our ballots in the mail and I drop them off at the supervisor of elections office. In Florida, with so many old folks, Republicans benefit from mail in ballots. Probably more so this year with geezers avoiding crowds.
  20. I agree it will be a total **** show in NC. We get an email from the USPS with what's supposed to be coming in the mail, and half the time that mail doesn't show up...
  21. Voting in the U.S.A. is way too easy. Voters that cannot build up enough ambition to go out to the polls with a photo ID do not deserve the privilege of voting.
  22. A picture copy, like from a scanner or cell phone.

    Not a physical copy. Sorry that was unclear.
  23. I was assuming that in some states they allow illegals to have drivers licenses

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  24. Ah, yes. I do not believe that to be the case in this state (WI). I know the Dem gov talked about it during his campaign but don't believe he managed to get that done.

    I know I've got that real ID thing on my license, confirmed by passport and Social Security card
  25. California has a "Permanent Absentee Ballot" where any voter can sign up for the mail-in approach. For the first time, the .gov provided the postage for returning the primary ballot. I'm waiting to see if they do that for the general election.

    Why in the world would I EVER want to go to a polling place and hang out with a couple of hundred people I don't want to know?

    I have been voting by mail for decades. I don't even remember going to a polling place. I must have, MANY years ago, but I don't recall doing it.

    The .gov (County?) sends me a document describing all the races and ballot measures at least a month before I get the ballot. I get the ballot a few weeks before it is due and all I have to do is color in some dots, stuff it in the envelope and stick it in the mailbox. Hardly a hassle! In the past, I have had to pay for postage.
  26. You do know this is NOT the same as unsolicited mail-in ballots going to every registered voter in the state, whether they still live there or are even still alive, right?
  27. The big difference is that "absentee ballot" is limited to fewer people and they have to make more of an effort. The folks down out the trailer park and housing project are not going through all of that so they can sell the ballot for $20. It's hard to (1) identify everybody who got an absentee ballot and (2) mail a half-pint of whiskey to all of those overseas voters in trade for their vote.

    Total mail-in voting is widespread and they mail out a ballot to everybody who is registered. Since the Democrats have worked for decades to make sure people who have no interest in voting are registered juts by having an ID or driver's license, that means truckloads of ballots going to people who don't want to vote, don't know who is running, probably can't read the instructions and who will trade that ballot for a half-pint of Kessler's (if Kessler's still exists). If everybody's got one, all you have to do is pull up in the hood with a case of half-pints or a roll of bills and the harvest is on.
  28. Just in case anyone thinks this whole mail-in thing is a good idea...

    The NY Primary Race was 42 days ago with Mail In Ballots. They STILL DO NOT have the results, and it's been 42 days... A judge just CHANGED THE RULES to determine what additional ballots can be counted in the primary - likely because they don't like the results they are getting...

    In Nevada, their new law automatically sends 2 ballots in every envelope to every registered voter, and WILL COUNT BALLOTS with NO POSTAGE that are received AFTER ELECTION DAY.

    No opportunity for ballot tampering in Nevada I see...
  29. DT now says mail in ballots are a good thing and is encouraging voters to vote by mail. What changed? Polls? Facts?
  30. Trump is saying, as he has always been saying, that voters who REQUEST ABSENTEE BALLOTS will and should be allowed to vote by mail. Nothing in his message has changed.

    Vote By Mail, like was just make law in Nevada, send unsolicited ballots to every registered voter, allows for counting of votes after election day, and even will count ballots with no postage that have not gone through the US Mail.

    Here's his tweet. I've underlined the part you need to not skip over in this thread, just like the last one.


    Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True. Florida’s Voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail! #MAGA
  31. No ID is required in California to vote at a polling place. Your name/address probably needs to be on the roll. First time voters need to provide ID in order to become a registered voter.

    So, somebody could register 50 years ago and somebody else can vote for them long after they die.

    This is built-in fraud and has nothing whatsoever to do with mail-in ballots. The voter rolls are trash and always have been.

    On my absentee ballot, I am required to sign the envelope and that signature is matched at the Regitrar's office. Yes, they check!

    Section 3019 (a) (1)


    For those who assume the Registrar can't possibly verify that many signatures, we have:
    3019 (1) (1) (B) (3) which allows signature verification technology.

    I don't know why it would be any different for any other type of mail-in ballot. The voter had to provide ID and probably a signature when they first registered to vote.

    Only in the smallest states are the ballots actually counted after the polls close for distribution within hours. It is not at all uncommon to take a couple of days to certify the results, many times several days if the count is contested. It often is...

    Electronic voting does improve on this but it does nothing for ID. In fact, it is counterproductive in that a voter doesn't need to provide ID to vote and there is no signature to compare. Besides being hackable, it is basically open to fraud. A voter would have to be on a precinct list to be able to walk in and vote by machine. They get on that list through the Registrar's office but apparently they aren't removed from the list when they die.

    Think of all the Federal laws that would be broken with fraudulent mail-in voting. Among other things, mail fraud. Maybe there will be some prosecutions! Oh, wait! The Dems aren't going to prosecute Dem voters!

    The entire system is subject to fraud at every level, mail-in voting just adds another source but probably minor compared to just dumping the completed ballots in a river.
  32. Let’s see, the entire US Postal service is represented by a Union who are in turn 118% loyal Democrats. What could possibly go wrong?

    And that’s just for starters.
  33. Should be that way all over. In my state (for military) a commissioned officer could witness. I always voted absentee when on active duty. I was never stationed in my home state. So I had to vote that way.
  34. I don't know how other states are going to handle mail-in ballots but in California there is a process by which I may verify that my vote was actually counted. If enough Republicans verify their votes, we should be able to keep the system honest.


    There is just as much opportunity to lose a truckload of paper ballots and I don't think voters can trace their vote with paper ballots. Maybe they can.

    States have different procedures. California seems pretty clean.

    There are a lot of shenanigans that could be pulled at the Registrar's office and this is monitored by representatives from both parties. Sometimes even polling places are monitored.


    72% of the ballots cast in the March 2020 primary were absentee. Nearly 7 million absentee ballots.


    We have this stuff covered, no worries about mail-in voting in California. I don't know about other states.
  35. Well, the people in the town I live near are gonna start having block parties to exchange all the miss delivered mail.
  36. This isn't a final number but currently state wide Washington has a voter turnout of about 27.5%. Keep in mind, all it takes to vote here is a pen and enough ambition to fill out the ballot, stick in the return envelope, and put in out going mail (NO POSTAGE NEEDED).

    My county is vastly Republican, a whooping 22.42% turnout.

    It is absolutely pathetic.

    edit to note the numbers aren't final.
  37. Mailing out millions of unsolicited ballots to every registered voter is NOT absentee balloting. Not by a long shot. Truck loads of ballots will show up after the election to make sure that the "right" candidate wins.

    CA districts were among the WORST in the 2018 election for post-closure ballots where the Democrat candidate was more than 80% of the votes on the ballots, deviating significantly from the earlier ballots.

    Yeah, CA has it covered. All districts will come in D unless somehow the trucks get lost with all those extra ballots.
  38. I'm not sure that's abnormal for a primary election where the governor is considered a slam-dunk in the next general election.
  39. Voting by mail has been argued, in Oregon, numerous times as a voter fraud access, but we still have vote by mail. As long as the Democrats control the legislature it will remain! Every year dead people vote, illegals vote and I bet numerous are not ever counted!
  40. I predict we will see 2 months of total chaos following election day. Even with a legitimate ballot count this would be a time consuming task. You know this will be anything but legitimate.

    This is where the GOP's reluctance to fight for Voter ID and other measures to protect the integrity of the vote in recent years really comes back to bite them in the ass.
    If such measures had been put in place, the Dems would have much more difficulty pushing for the all mail in vote and the ballot harvesting that will be taking place.