A digital illustration of many envelopes making their way to a locked mailbox.

Understanding mail-in voting in the US

By Curt Merrill, Daniel Wolfe, Janie Boschma, Adam Levy, Ethan Cohen, Liz Stark, and Ian Berry, CNN
Updated September 15, 2020

For more American voters than ever, mail-in voting is an option this year, but the rules depend on where you live.

Requests for absentee and mail-in ballots have increased across the country as states have adjusted their policies to give voters a safe alternative to voting in person amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

While President Donald Trump has questioned the reliability of mail-in voting, experts say it’s safe and secure. But this year, counting the votes is most likely going to take longer than usual because many states will allow extra time for ballots to arrive after Election Day — as long as they’re postmarked on or before November 3.

CNN has surveyed all of the state election offices — here’s what you need to know. Click on your state for more guidance.