Voter registration, absentee application deadlines approaching quickly

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VotePlanning to be home on a particular day weeks in advance can be a difficult or impossible task for owner-operators. Provisions for absentee voting, and early voting in states that offer it, make it unnecessary to worry about that commitment for the Nov. 8 presidential election.

Websites such as (formerly known as Long Distance Voter) and the U.S. Vote Foundation are a one-stop shop for registering to vote, checking your registration status, filling out an absentee ballot application and learning about early voting. No states allow online voting.

By going here on the U.S. Vote Foundation site, you can find all eligibility requirements and more. States require voters to be U.S. citizens and a resident of the state where they’re registering, and most require a valid driver’s license. Convicted felons cannot vote unless their voting rights have been restored by the state. Most states have an October deadline for registration.

Absentee voting

In 20 states, an excuse is required to apply for an absentee ballot, while 27 states plus Washington, D.C., offer no-excuse absentee voting. Absentee ballots are sent to the voter in the mail and returned either in person or by mail, fax or email, depending on the state.

For voters in Colorado, Oregon and Washington, ballots are mailed automatically to all eligible voters with no request or application necessary. So if your home base is in any of these states, all you have to do is make sure your address is updated to receive a ballot.

Early voting

In 37 states and Washington, D.C., early voting laws allow voting at an election official’s office or other satellite location prior to the general election. No excuse is required. Voting can begin as early as 45 days before the election or as late as the Friday before the election.

Eighteen states and Washington, D.C., allow Saturday voting, while four states (Alaska, Illinois, Ohio and Maryland) allow Sunday voting. Five states (California, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts and Nevada) leave it up to county clerks to choose to open on Sundays or not.

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Also, be sure to vote in Overdrive‘s latest poll below on who is most likely to receive your vote in November.

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