Presenting: Your Official Guide to Voting by Mail in 2022

In case it needs to be said: COVID-19 is still very much a threat despite the two years that have passed since it sparked a pandemic. That’s why, more than ever, it’s important to know how to cast your 2022 ballot in ways *other* than going to a poll site. Enter: the mail lol.

Though mailing in your ballot for the 2022 midterms hardly feels as instantaneous as our daily emails, texts, and online activities, we promise the process really is much more straightforward than you’d think. So without further ado, here’s every single thing you need to know about voting absentee this election.

Okay, let’s get started…

1. Read up on the requirements.

All states offer mail-in voting, but you’ve gotta make sure you meet the qualifications first. That is, if your state requires them.

  • Including… Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado*, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii*, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon*, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island**, South Dakota, Utah*, Vermont, Virginia, Washington*, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
    • *These states are happy to send mail-in ballots to all eligible voters, so you actually don’t even need a formal reason to request one—you can just ask!
      **Rhode Island lists several excuses to vote absentee, including one that states “no specific reason necessary.” Since any Rhode Island resident can request an absentee/mail ballot, NCSL has categorized it as “no excuse required.”
    • Being unable to get to your polling place due to illness, injury, or disability.
    • Being on business travel or vacation outside of your county or city of residence on Election Day.
    • Being a student at an out-of-state college or university.
    • Check to see your specific state’s regulations here.

    2. Request your ballot.

    Most states need you to go ahead and request your absentee mail-in ballot. So if you need to ask for one, your best (and easiest!) bet is to do it entirely online if your state offers the option on its election site. (If online is not an option for whatever reason, go to, which will generate the request form you need to fill out. You’ll then have to print and mail it.)

    3. Now that you’ve got your ballot, make sure you read *all* the instructions…

    Mail-in ballot rules vary based on the state you live in, so def make sure to read the fine print. Some states call for a notary to verify it’s actually you signing your ballot, while others require you to submit a photocopy of your ID.

    4. Fill it out!

    You’ve done all your research and are confident in your choice, so go forth dear reader! Using your black ballpoint pen (that’s what you need to fill out the ballot!), it’s time for you to ~officially~ cast your vote.

    5. *Takes deep breath* Now we mail it back.

    Once you’ve dotted your is and crossed your ts, it’s time to finally mail in your absentee ballot. Oh, and if you live with or know someone who’s also voting by mail, def don’t share envelopes! Having your ballot in the same envelope as someone else’s = both votes being disqualified. Other than that, here are things to keep in mind if you:

    Happy voting!

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