2020 COVID voting rules

For additional states, see Vote.org’s COVID information page.

Arizona

  • See Secretary of State Katie Hobb’s directives for COVID-era voting, including services impacted.
  • The Governor and Secretary of State’s office stay-at-home order exempts constitutionally protected speech activities, such as voter registration (ended 10/15)
  • Federal court ruled that Arizona’s voter registration deadline can be extended several weeks, but another court moved the deadline to Oct. 15. However, this is still 10 days later than Arizona’s original voter registration deadline of Oct. 5.
  • Counties may offer early voting Oct. 7-30. Check with local election officials for locations and schedules. 
  • In-person polling locations can be found here. Bring an acceptable photo or two acceptable non-photo IDs to the polls.
  • Check with local election officials for drop-box locations, which can be tracked here.

Illinois

  • From an email with the Illinois State Board of Elections: “They have until the end of today [October 29th] to get a mail ballot or they should check with their election authority about curbside voting. Unless they’re in the hospital there’s no other option.”
  • Per state law: Any qualified voter that has been admitted to a healthcare facility (hospital, nursing home, or rehabilitation center) not more than 14 days before the election or, if released, is expected to be homebound on the day of the election and unable to travel to the polling place, shall be entitled to personal delivery of a ballot.” The process is outlined in this document.

Illinois polling places have detailed guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing, disinfecting surfaces, and separating voters who are not wearing masks. 

Michigan

  • See Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s directives for COVID-era voting including rules regarding quarantine and stay-at-home orders.
  • Even if under quarantine or stay-at-home order, people can register and vote from now through the election at their local county clerk’s office
  • They can also leave quarantine to vote, or to drop off an absentee ballot.
  • If unable to leave, they can get an emergency absentee ballot delivered to them.
  • If at a school, the school needs to deliver their absentee ballots to them wherever they are quarantining.

Missouri

  • From an email with the Secretary of State: “We are directing voters to contact their county elections office (clerk or board of elections) as soon as possible. The county will be able to work with the voter to determine an appropriate option, such as sending a team of judges to the voter(s). We certainly do not recommend that they attempt to break quarantine and go to the polls on Election Day.” 
  • Missouri state law: If a voter “has become hospitalized, becomes confined due to illness or injury, or is confined in an intermediate care facility, residential care facility, or skilled nursing facility, as such terms are defined in section 198.006, in the county in which the jurisdiction is located or in the jurisdiction of an adjacent election authority within the same county, the election authority shall appoint a team to deliver, witness the signing of and return the voter’s application and deliver, witness the voting of and return the voter’s absentee ballot.”

Nevada 

  • See Secretary of State Katie Hobb’s directives for COVID-era voting, including services impacted.
  • As a result of the pandemic, Nevada has automatically started mailing out ballots to all active voters.
  • The online voter registration deadline is October 29th. You can register online here. 
  • Counties must offer early voting Oct. 17, Oct. 19-24 and Oct. 26-30. Counties may offer voting on Oct. 18 and Oct. 25. Check here for locations schedules.
  • Vote centers in your area can be searched here.
  • You can track the status of your ballot  here.

North Carolina

Safeguards in Place from NC Board of Elections (as of now, no COVID quarantine in place).  Significant precautions will be made at voting sites to protect voters and election officials against the transmission of COVID-19. These include:

    • Enforcing social distancing at polling places and early voting sites
    • Providing hand sanitizer and masks for voters and election workers who do not bring their own
    • Providing gloves and face shields for election workers
    • Erecting barriers between election workers and voters at check-in tables
    • Providing single-use pens in counties that use hand-marked paper ballots, and a cotton swab or disposable stylus for voters who use ballot-marking devices
    • Frequently cleaning surfaces and equipment in polling places and early voting sites
    • Recruiting poll workers who are less vulnerable to the virus

Ohio

As we approach Election Day, we need to address how students who are in quarantine or isolation can exercise their right to vote. There are a few options available to students, and some are more reliable than others.

    • Option 1: Allow students to leave quarantine or isolation to cast their vote early at their board of elections or at their polling place on Election Day. Students may participate in curbside voting, in which election officials bring a ballot to their vehicle to avoid direct contact. This is the only option that avoids all potential hurdles to a student’s vote being counted.
    • Option 2: Provide students with vote by mail applications and drop them off at the Board of Elections for them. These applications are legally accepted until noon on 10/31. This option risks a ballot arriving too late to be voted, and risks ballot spoilage if the mail is handled by anyone other than the voter.
    • Option 3: People who are currently quarantined can fill out Secretary of State form 11-F for confined voters. This allows your county Board of Elections to send election officials to your home with a ballot. This option avoids potential ballot spoilage, but we are still awaiting a directive from the Secretary of State on the application of this form in this unprecedented situation. This form must be submitted by noon on 10/31.
    • Option 4: Students who enter quarantine after noon on 10/31 may complete Secretary of State form 11-B for hospitalized voters. This form allows election officials to bring a ballot to a voter in a hospital. Barring a new directive from the SOS, this method is likely to be rejected as university quarantine facilities do not qualify. This should be seen as a Hail Mary option. Preferably, students should be allowed to vote before entering isolation.

Pennsylvania

From VotesPA.com — branch of the PA Secretary of State’s Office. Source: https://www.votespa.com/Voting-in-PA/Pages/Mail-and-Absentee-Ballot.aspx#emergency%20absentee 

Tennessee

From Tennessee Secretary of State: If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are quarantining as a result of exposure to COVID-19, you are eligible to request an absentee by-mail ballot by checking box 3 on the application. The deadline to make a request is October 27. Contact your county election commission for more information about how and where to vote on November 3 if you have symptoms or are quarantining after the absentee by-mail deadline.

Wisconsin

  • See the Wisconsin Elections Commission’s COVID-19 Information for Voters.
  • Curbside voting is available to any Wisconsin voter who is immunocompromised, was exposed to or has symptoms of COVID-19. Voters should contact their municipal clerk’s office to learn about their curbside voting procedures.
  • Any Wisconsin voter who is currently quarantined in their home due to COVID-19 may follow the state’s “hospitalized elector” process. Under state law, a hospitalized or quarantined elector may assign an agent (any qualified elector of the voter’s choosing) to deliver their ballot to their municipal clerk’s office. A step-by-step guide to this process can be found here.