5 Things To Know: What's the difference in absentee and mail in voting?

As the presidential election nears, and misinformation about voting by mail is growing, state election board officials wanted to offer clarity.

Misha Mohr, Public Information Officer for the Oklahoma State Election Board took the time to answer five commonly asked questions regarding voting by mail.

Q. What is the difference between mail-in voting and absentee voting?

While the terms are often used interchangeably, mail-in voting typically refers to ballots that are issued to all voters in a state, where in-person voting is not an option.

Absentee voting refers to ballots that are requested by the voter and returned by mail or another method allowed by law.

Q. Who can do absentee voting?

Any registered voter can vote by absentee ballot. No reason is needed.

Q. Can I take my absentee ballot to the election board or do I have to mail it?

“Standard” absentee ballots, the most common type of ballot, can be mailed to the county election board or may be hand-delivered to the county election board no later than the end of business day, the Monday prior to the election.

“Physically incapacitated” absentee ballots must be mailed to the county election board.

Q. Is there anything I can do to make sure my ballot gets to the election board on time through the post office?

Request your absentee ballot early and mail your ballot early! This fall, after talking with USPS officials, the Election Board will implement the use of green return envelopes for absentee ballots, making it easier for postal workers to identify official election mail.

Q. How is the absentee ballot/process different from what I do at my regular polling place?

To vote a mail absentee ballot, you must request an absentee ballot. Absentee ballots look the same as regular ballots, however, you must return them in an envelope instead of inserting the ballot in a voting devic


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