Vote By Mail or Absentee Voting

What is the Difference if You Vote by Mail or if You Vote by Absentee Ballot?

red, white, and blue symbols say VOTE

tomatoes by bluebudgie for vote illustration

Photo by “BlueBudgie”

There is NO difference. Zero. Nada. Cipher. NOT.

Those are two different terms for the same thing. It’s like the difference in pronouncing ‘to-maaa ate-to’ and ‘to-ma awwww-to.’ A tomato is a tomato, no matter how you pronounce it. Absentee voting and mail-in voting are the same act, no matter what you call it.

  • “Mail-In Voting” means you vote by mail without having to go to the polls.
  • “Absentee Voting” means you vote by mail without having to go to the polls.

Do You Have To Request A Mail-in Vote Ballot?illustration of a vote ballot being dropped into a mail slot
  • In some states, mail-in ballots are sent to the eligible voters.
  • In other states, like Virginia, you have to request a ballot.

See details below + link to learn the rules for each state in the USA.

Does Every State Offer Absentee Voting?
  • Every State Offers Mail-In Absentee Voting.
  • Although each state has mail-in voting, some allow you to take part only in certain circumstances.
  • Some states require an excuse for voting by mail.
  • Because of the coronavirus, some states (but not all) are giving all voters an excuse to vote by mail for certain elections.
  • Because of the coronavirus, your state might automatically send you an absentee ballot or a form to fill out to request one.
  • Your state election office has specific rules for your state.
  • You will find a link below to help you find the rules and options in your state.

When Should You Apply for an Absentee Ballot?

If you want to vote by mail, and your state requires that you ask for a ballot, request it now, and turn your ballot in as early as possible in accordance with the dates given. WHY? You want it to be counted within whatever deadline law applies in your state, so your ballot won’t be thrown out.

Don’t Wait! Why?

Recently, the President replaced the head of the postal service in order to put his own person in place to slow things down (which he is doing right now, as has been reported and recorded). You can confirm that for yourself. Their hope is that not all the votes will be counted by the certification deadline. It is part of a number of voter suppression tactics that are in play in 2020. That is an issue even from the Republican standpoint since they usually have the largest number of mail-in voters. Thus, a number of Republican members of Congress are encouraging vote by mail during this COVID-19 pandemic.

image by Amber Zen

Again: “mail-in votes” are the same as “absentee votes.” Be knowledgeable and find out what the rules are in your state. Click Here. Just in case the link didn’t work, you can find out the deal for each of the states here:

I also hope you will share this information. Not all of us want to knock on doors to get people registered and motivated to vote. Sharing this information is an easy way for each of us to contribute to getting out the vote, which is such a vital part of maintaining our democracy.

One Important Thing For First Time Voters

– (an excerpt from the above website) –

When you are voting for the first time in a federal election, there are ID requirements.

Read it below or get your cup of coffee and look up everything you need to know now. You might as well get it done, right? No procrastinating. You’ll feel better when you know what to do and act on it promptly.

coffee cup labeled "hello" and a smart phone



Since I live in  Virginia, here is a link to information for that state. Click Here.

For persons who registered to vote in Virginia by mail, federal law requires them to show identification (ID) when voting for the first time in a federal election if they did not send a copy of one of these IDs with their voter registration applications. Recent legislation has eliminated the differences in acceptable identification for in-person voting. Therefore, the special federal ID requirements only apply to certain absentee voters by mail who will be notified by a notice explaining the requirements sent with their absentee ballot. Voters who receive a notice about this special requirements need to include a copy of any of the following types of ID with the voted ballot: (go to the link for the details in your state).

I hope this is helpful as we face a major election decision in the middle of a major, life-threatening pandemic. Be Safe. Stay Well. Protect Others.

Do It The Write Way! Let My Fingers Do Your Talking!

About Nancy Ayanna Wyatt

In addition to being a writer/editor, creator of infographics, and a highly engaging presenter and trainer, I am an ethical, energetic, and multi-faceted manager, demonstrably successful in directing human and financial resource allocation, contract administration, policies and procedures development, and supervisory functions. I have managed diverse departments, ranging from business offices to police, to name only two, while working for multi-national corporations, non-profits, higher education, state government, and small businesses. I have created extensive procedures, manuals, and training programs. I use the Internet, MS Office Suite, and presenter software. I have created 3 Word Press websites "from scratch." I sell photos on merchandise at My earned reputation is for fair play and for keeping people informed at all levels. I am praised often for my communication skills, which include listening, public speaking, writing and editing, training, and interpersonal relationships with people of all ages, cultures and hierarchical levels. An example of a presentation is "How To Start A Business," for which I provide extensive notes in English and Spanish. Seminars on many topics may be booked through my website or by calling me. You also may hire me to create/and or present new teaching or training projects!

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