Absentee Voting: Easiest Way To Vote With a Chronic Illness

Easiest way to vote with a chronic illness pic
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Purchases made through my affiliate links provide a small commission for me at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I know/use.

I’m a big believer that voting is a person’s civic duty. I also know that going to your local polling place when you have health issues can be extremely difficult. There are many reasons for this, such as the long lines and inaccessibility at polling places. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that polling places are handicap accessible, but the Government Accountability Office found that during the 2016 elections, only 40% of polling places were fully accessible. Clearly, this can severely hinder the ability of many to vote.

Also, if you have an unpredictable illness (like me), you do not know if you will be well enough to go vote the day of the election. All barriers to voting should absolutely be addressed by the government (different article for a different day). In the meantime, this poses the question: how can someone with health issues ensure they can vote?

My suggestion is absentee voting (mail-in voting).

What is absentee voting?

Absentee voting is where your ballot is sent to you through the mail, and then you fill it out and mail it back before Election Day. It is very simple.

Requirements for absentee voting

There are both no-excuse states and excuse states.

No excuse states

These are states that allow any registered voter to utilize absentee voting. This is the majority of states (27 states).

Excuse states

These states require an excuse to vote absentee.

Commonly accepted reasons are:

  • being away from your county for the entire Election Day
  • religious observance
  • being required to work when the polls are open
  • having an illness or disability

Vote.org lists whether your state is no excuse or excuse. They also list “allowed” excuses. From what I can see, all states accept illness or disability as an excuse.

What about caucuses?

I live in Illinois, which does not caucus, so I was curious to learn if you can vote absentee in those states. The New York Times article Besides Iowa, These Are the States With Caucuses lists the states and territories that caucus and some alternative options. It appears that most allow either satellite caucusing or absentee voting. Check with your particular state.

How to vote absentee

First, if you are not registered or are not sure if you are registered, go on over to my article: How to register to vote and come back after you know that you are registered.

Now, go to Vote.org. Once on their home screen, click get your absentee ballot:

vote.org home screen

Then you will fill out a page and click continue. You will do this several times, but the pages are super short, see:

Absentee ballot request page 1
Absentee ballot request page 2
Absentee ballot request page 3

Then you will get this page:

Download your absentee ballot

You don’t need to wait for the email. Just download the form now.

Then you will have the form:

Absentee ballot request form

Print this, fill it out (there are literally 2 things to fill out: political affiliation and address again), sign it, and put it in the mail. Your absentee ballot should come in a few days.

Final Important Note: When the ballot is due

Obviously, it doesn’t do any good to vote absentee if your vote isn’t counted. There is a pretty wide variance between states about when the absentee ballot is due (ranging from 2 weeks before Election Day to the day of). Check here to see when your ballot is due in your state. Also, keep in mind that it takes a couple of days to receive your ballot.

Better to err on the safe side. Request your absentee ballot today!

One thought on “Absentee Voting: Easiest Way To Vote With a Chronic Illness

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts