Time Off to Vote Laws by State

Time off to vote map

Low voter turnout in major elections remains a huge issue in the United States. The 2016 Presidential Election saw a 55.7% voter turnout – ranking 26th internationally when compared to recent general elections in 32 other highly developed, democratic nations.
One of the most common reasons cited for low turnout is the lack of time registered voters have on Election Day (always a Tuesday) to actually vote. Many younger professionals are unable to excuse themselves from their jobs to cast a ballot.
However, many states have laws in place that enable registered voters to take time off to vote on Election Day. Because this information is, unfortunately, difficult to find for some states, we compiled every state’s laws into one convenient, interactive visual format, along with other information relevant to voter’s rights in the workplace.

Key Facts about Voting During Work Hours

Interactive Map: Which States Allow Employees to Take Time Off From Work to Vote?

Hover over each state for more information.

Note: If you are on a mobile device, rotate device for best experience viewing this map. You can also pinch and zoom in and out of the map.

You Are Allowed to Take Time Off to Vote

More than half of the states in the United States require businesses to give you time off to vote on Election Day. It is important to note, however, that advance notice is required in 18 of these states – and can vary from a verbal notice one day prior to a written formal request at least three days before the election.

 

Twelve States Allow Time Off to Vote Without Requiring Advance Notice

  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Minnesota
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Texas
  • Wyoming

You May Be Paid for Your Time Off Spent Voting

Of these states, 22 require that any time taken to vote must be paid. The specific amount may vary from state to state, ranging from one hour to three consecutive hours. Some states may have provisions that allow employers to specify an exact time they may be excused, while others may simply require employers to give “a reasonable amount of time” to vote.

You May Be Required to Show Proof of Voting

5 states require voters to verify they have cast their ballots if they take time off. If not, the consequences can include:

  • Disciplinary action
  • Your time off being unpaid
  • A deduction of those hours from your pay

Please consult your employer to determine what qualifies as adequate proof that you have voted.

Time off to Vote Laws by State: A Deeper Look at all 50 States

State Statute Time Off Required? How Much? Time Off Paid or Unpaid? Advance Notice Required? Proof of Voting Required?
Alabama  Alabama Act 2006-545 Yes One hour Law does not specify, so likely unpaid. Yes, with reasonable notice No
Alaska  Alaska Stat. §15.56.100 Yes Not Specified in Statute Paid No No
Arizona Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-402 Yes Three consecutive hours Paid Yes, one day before the election No
Arkansas Ark. Code Ann. 7-1-102 Yes Employers must schedule work hours so that each employee has an opportunity to vote Unpaid No No
California Cal. Elec. Code § 14000 Yes Up to two hours Paid Yes, two working days before election No
Colorado Colo. Rev. Stat. § 1-7-102 Yes Up to two hours Paid, up to two hours. No No
Connecticut N/A No No laws require employers to give workers time off to vote. N/A N/A N/A
Delaware N/A No Employee who has accrued vacation time and is not in a “critical need” position may serve as an election officer without reprisal by the employer. N/A N/A N/A
Florida N/A No No laws require employers to give workers time off to vote. N/A N/A N/A
Georgia  Ga. Code Ann. § 21-2-404 Yes Up to two hours Paid No No
Hawaii Haw. Rev. Stat. § 11-95 Yes Two consecutive hours Paid No Yes. Employee must show voting receipt or employers may deduct hours off from pay.
Idaho No No No laws require employers to give workers time off to vote. N/A N/A N/A
Illinois  10 Ill. Comp. Stat. §§ 5/7-42; 5/17-15 Yes Two hours Unpaid Yes, one day before the election No
Indiana N/A No No laws require employers to give workers time off to vote. N/A N/A N/A
Iowa Iowa Code § 49.109 Yes Up to three consecutive hours when combined with nonworking time Paid Yes, in writing prior to the election No
Kansas Kan. Stat. Ann § 25-418 Yes Up to two hours. Employer may specificy time during the day when employee may vote, unless they use their lunch hour. Paid No No
Kentucky Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 118.035 Yes Not less than four hours Unpaid Yes, one day before the election Employees that take time off but do not vote are subject to disciplinary action
Louisiana N/A No No laws require employers to give workers time off to vote. N/A N/A N/A
Maine N/A No No laws require employers to give workers time off to vote. N/A N/A N/A
Maryland Md. Code 1957 Art. 33 § 10-315 Yes Two hours Paid Yes No
Massachusetts Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, §178 Yes The first two hours that the polls are open Unpaid Employee must apply for leave of absence No
Michigan N/A No No laws require employers to give workers time off to vote. N/A N/A N/A
Minnesota Minn Stat. Ann. § 204C.04 Yes Employees eligible to vote have the right to be absent for the time necesseary to appear at a polling place, vote and return to work Paid No No
Mississippi N/A No No laws require employers to give workers time off to vote. N/A N/A N/A
Missouri Mo. Rev. Stat § 115.639 Yes Three hours Paid, but employee must vote Yes, prior to election day Employee must vote to be paid
Montana N/A No No laws require employers to give workers time off to vote. N/A N/A N/A
Nebraska Neb. Rev. Stat. § 32-922 Yes Up to two hours when combined with nonworking time Paid Yes, prior to or on election day No
Nevada Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann § 293.463 Yes Time off determined by workplace distance to polling place:  Two miles or less= One hour   Two to Ten miles = Two hours  More than ten miles = Three hours Paid Yes, prior to election day No
New Hampshire N/A No No laws require employers to give workers time off to vote. N/A N/A N/A
New Jersey N/A No No laws require employers to give workers time off to vote. N/A N/A N/A
New Mexico N.M. Stat. Ann. § 1-12-42 Yes Two Hours Paid No No
New York N.Y. Elec. Law § 3-110 Yes As much time as needed when combined with nonworking time Paid, up to two hours Yes, not more than 10 or less than 2 working days before the election. No
North Carolina N/A No No laws require employers to give workers time off to vote. N/A N/A N/A
North Dakota N/A No Employers are encouraged to establish programs that allow employee’s to vote Unpaid No No
Ohio Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3599.06 Yes A reasonable amount of time Paid only for salaried employees No No
Oklahoma Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, § 7-101 Yes Two hours.  If the polling place is too far away to vote within two hours, employees may take off sufficient time. Paid Yes, one day before the election. Orally or in writing Yes
Oregon N/A No No laws require employers to give workers time off to vote. N/A N/A N/A
Pennsylvania N/A No No laws require employers to give workers time off to vote. N/A N/A N/A
Rhode Island N/A No No laws require employers to give workers time off to vote. N/A N/A N/A
South Carolina  N/A No No laws require employers to give workers time off to vote. N/A N/A N/A
South Dakota S.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 12-3-5 Yes Two consecutive hours Paid No No
Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-1-106 Yes Up to three hours Paid Yes, before noon on Election Day No
Texas Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 276.004 Yes No time limit specified Paid No No
Utah Utah Code Ann. § 20A-3-103 Yes Two hours at the beginning or end of shift Paid Yes, before election day No
Vermont N/A No No laws require employers to give workers time off to vote. N/A N/A N/A
Virginia N/A No No laws require employers to give workers time off to vote. N/A N/A N/A
Washington N/A No No laws require employers to give workers time off to vote. N/A N/A N/A
West Virginia W. Va. Code § 3-1-42 Yes Up to three hours Paid (if employee votes) Yes, written request at least three days before election Employee must vote to be paid
Wisconsin Wis. Stat. Ann. § 6.76 Yes Up to three consecutive hours Unpaid Yes, before election day No
Wyoming Wyo. Stat. § 22-2-111 Yes One hour outside meal break Paid (if employee votes) No Employee must vote to be paid