Absentee Voting (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
Participation in an election by qualified voters who are permitted to mail in their ballots.
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C.A. § 1973 ff et seq.) covers absentee voting in presidential elections, but the states regulate absentee voting in all other elections. According to Article I, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution, "The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of ch[oo]sing Senators."
Originally created to accommodate overseas military service personnel in WORLD WAR I, absentee voting has since expanded to include all those expecting to be absent from their precincts on election day. The right to vote, even by absentee ballot, is no trifling concern. A state may restrict it only to the extent that doing so serves a compelling state interest such as preventing FRAUD.
Although all states allow absentee voting, the procedures and qualifications vary from state to state. For example, the amount of time that an application for an absentee ballot must precede the election can vary. In Minnesota, it is one day (M.S.A. § 203B.04). In Louisiana, it depends on...
(The entire section is 2208 words.)
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