Majority of Americans Support No-Excuse Early or Absentee Voting, New Survey Shows

A voter holds up a mail-in voting sticker. (Adobe Stock)

60% of Americans say voters should have the option to vote early or absentee without having to document a reason for doing so, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.

The research center — which polled over 8,600 Americans from May 13 to 19 — revealed that opinions on this issue are strongly determined by political party affiliations.

82% of Democrats said “early or absentee voting should be available to any voter without the need for an excuse,” and 62% of Republicans said “these voting methods should only be available to those who have a documented reason for not voting in person on Election Day.”

Republicans have flipped their views on this — in 2018, the majority of them said that voters shouldn’t have to provide a reason, the research center said. Since 2020, former President Donald Trump has discredited the validity of early and absentee voting and only recently said they can be trusted.

Race, age and education levels also play a role in people’s opinions on the issue. Black adults, adults younger than 30 years old and people with college and postgraduate degrees are more likely to favor no-excuse absentee voting.

No-excuse early and absentee voting make it easier for people to vote, and 58% of Americans do not believe changing the rules to make it easier to register and vote would make elections less secure. 

The survey responses for this issue were clearly along party lines. 63% of Republicans said elections would be less secure if it was easier for people to vote.

Voters are utilizing absentee voting and other alternative voting methods more now than ever. In 2020, only a quarter of voters cast their ballots in person on Election Day, and in 2022, less than half of voters did.

Most U.S. states do not require an excuse for absentee voting, making it easier for voters to utilize that method. 

The 14 states that still do require an excuse are mostly Republican-led, but two of them are Democratic states — Connecticut, whose policy could be reversed in a ballot initiative in 2024, and Delaware, whose law allowing no-excuse absentee voting was struck down by a court in 2022.