Why getting voting right is hard, Part IV: Absentee Voting and Vote By Mail

This is the fourth post in my series on voting systems. Part I covered requirements and then Part II and Part III covered in-person voting using paper ballots. However paper ballots don8217t need to be voted in person it8217s also possible to have people mail in their ballots in which case they can be counted the same way as if they had been voted in person.

Mail-in ballots get used in two main ways.

From a technical perspective absentee ballots and vote-by-mail work the same way it8217s just a matter of which sets of voters vote in person and which don8217t. These lines also blur some in that some jurisdictions require a reason to vote absentee whereas some just allow anyone to request an absentee ballot 8220no-excuse absentee8221. Of course in a vote-by-mail only jurisdiction then voters don8217t need to take any action to get mailed a ballot. For convenience I8217ll mostly be referring to all of these procedures as mail-in ballots.

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