Oct 30, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Map: The rules for mail-in voting across the U.S.

Data: National Conference of State Legislatures, Axios research; Cartogram: Shoshana Gordon and Jacque Schrag/Axios

Most of the country can now vote by mail, though the rapid expansion of mail-in voting has triggered a backlash on the right.

By the numbers: Eight states and Washington, D.C., automatically mail ballots to all registered voters. Twenty-eight more states allow voters to request a mail-in ballot without needing to give a reason why they need or want one.

  • A handful of states allow mail-in voting, but only with an excuse — typically age, illness, being  a caretaker or being out of town on Election Day.

The big picture: There’s been a consistent backlash against mail-in voting, as opponents incorrectly argue that the large number of people who voted that way during the pandemic was evidence of voter fraud. There’s been no evidence of a correlation between votes cast by mail and fraud.

  • Those conspiracy theories mirror the trends in restrictive voting legislation we’ve seen popping up around the country, per Brennan Center research.

Editor’s note: This article has been corrected to note that eight states automatically mail ballots to all registered voters, not seven.

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