Absentee Ballots

Administration of Absentee Ballot Programs

Working Paper No.: 
Date Published: 
Barry C. Burden, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Brian J. Gaines, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Executive Summary

  1. Americans cast their ballots in three main ways: at a traditional neighborhood polling place on election day; early, in person at a government office or voting center; and absentee, which is usually submitted early by mail.  The proportion of all ballots cast by the latter two methods continues to rise steadily.

  2. The introduction and expanded use of convenience (absentee and early) voting does not seem to have increased voter turnout.

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