Time off to vote - Employees and employers need to know the rules for their state.


There is no federal law that specifies the rules employers and employees must follow to allow employees time of for voting. Many states have passed their own laws that define the rules for both workers and managers when work shift time conflicts with open times for polls. In many states the employer must allow time off if the polls are closed within a certain hours of the employees work shift. In addition some states require the employee to provide the employer with advanced notice (some in writing) if they anticpate needing time off to vote. In still other states. Some states even require that the employee prove they used the time off to actually vote. Many states have no law at all and employers are not legally required to allow time off. Review the summarization below for details about the rules for your state and see the links for the legislative statue (where applicable).


Election laws by state

State
Has state law for voting leave?
Leave time required?
Notice provided to employer by employee?
Can the employer specify the hours off?
Must time off be paid?
Other provisions
Legal link
Alabama
Yes
Time “necessary” to vote, not exceeding one hour, unless employee has two hours before work or after work available to vote. Employee must provide “reasonable” notice Yes Not defined Employee is not entitled to leave if the workday begins at least two hours after the polls open, or ends at least one hour before polls close. Alabama time off for voting rules
Alaska Yes Not specified, but employer must allow time off for voting. Not specified Yes Yes Employees are not entitled to leave if they have two consecutive hours in which to vote either between the opening of the polls and the beginning of the shift, or the close of the polls and the end of the shift. Arizona time off for voting rules
Arizona Yes Up to three hours unless polls are open three hours before or after work. Employee must request time before election day. Yes Yes   Arizona time off for voting rules
Arkansas Yes Employer must schedule work hours to allow employees time to vote. Must give “sufficient” notice, and the employee is subject to $25-250 fine if they fail to do so. Not defined Note defined   Arkansas time off for voting rules
California Yes Two hours required if they do not have time to vote outside normal working hours Employee must provide two working days notice. Yes, Voting hours are from 7am to
8pm. Employees can be given as such time as they need in order to vote, but only a maximum of two hours is paid. Employers may require employees to give advance notice that they will need additional time off for voting.
Employers may require time off to be taken only at the beginning or end of the employee's shift
Yes, up to two hours Employers must post, in a conspicuous place, a notice setting forth these provisions no less than ten days before the election.  Cal. Elec. Code §§ 14000-14001. California time off for voting rules
Colorado Yes Up to two hours Employees required to give reasonable notice. Yes Yes Employee is not eligible for leave if they have three or more non-working hours in which the polls are open. Colorado time off for voting
Connecticut No            
Delaware No            
Florida No            
Georgia Yes Necesary time, but not to exceed two hours Employees required to give reasonable notice. Yes No Not entitled to leave if employees have two hours
before or after their shift in which to vote.
Georgia time off for voting
Hawaii Yes Up to two hours Employee must apply in writing prior to election day Yes Yes Excluded from leave if employee has three
consecutive non-working hours in which to vote.
Hawaii time off for voting
Idaho Yes but only for government employees Yes Not defined Not defined Not defined Employees are only entitled to leave with pay
for primary, general, municipal, school, or
special elections if work interferes with being able to vote.
 
Illinois Yes Up to two hours Employee must apply before the election. Yes Yes Employer must permit a two-hour absence if shift
begins less than two hours after polls open, or ends less than two hours before polls close.
Illinois time off to vote
Indiana No            
Iowa Yes An amount that, when added to employee’s non-working time, totals three consecutive hours while
polls are open
Employee must apply in writing prior to election day. Yes Yes   Iowa time off to vote
Kansas Yes If polls are not open outside employees’ shift, they must be given two consecutive hours. Not defined Yes, not including meal break time. Yes   Kansas time off to vote
Kentucky Yes Resonable time not less than four hours. Employee must apply for leave time prior to the day of the election. Yes Not
Specified,
but
employee
shall not be
subject to a
“penalty”
Employees may be disciplined if they take voting leave but fail to cast a vote. Kentucky time off to vote
Louisiana No            
Maine No            
Maryland Yes Up to two hours Not defined Not defined Yes Not eligible if there are two consecutive non-working hours in which the polls are open. employees must furnish proof to employer that they voted by submitting approved form. Maryland time off to vote
Massachusetts Yes Leave must be provided for the first two hours after the polls open, Employee must apply Not defined Not defined Leave applies to employees in “manufacturing,
mechanical, or mercantile establishments.”
Massachusetts time off to vote
Michigan No            
Minnesota Yes Whatever time is required. Not defined Not defined Yes   Minnesota time off to vote
Mississippi Yes Whatever time is required Not defined Not defined Not Defined    
Missouri Yes Up to three hours Employee must apply for leave prior to election day Yes Yes Employees are excluded if they have three successive non-working hours while
the polls are open.
Missouri time off to vote
Montana No            
Nebraska Yes Leave that, when added to
non-working time, equals two consecutive non-working hours in which to vote.
Employee must apply prior to election day Yes Yes Employees are not eligible if they have two
consecutive non-working hours in which the polls are open. Election workers are entitled to paid leave upon reasonable notice.
Nebraska time off to vote
Nevada Yes Employees are allowed one to three hours on election days to vote if they do not have sufficient" free time outside working hours, depending on the distance between work and the polling site. Employees must apply for time prior to Election Day. Yes Yes   Nevada time off to vote
New Hampshire No            
New Jersey No            
New Mexico Yes Up to tow hours Not defined Yes Not defined Employees are not eligible if workday begins more
than two hours after polls open, or ends more than
three hours before polls close.
New Mexico time off to vote
New York Yes Sufficient time unless sufficient time exists during not working hours Employee must notify employer more than two days but no more than ten days prior to election. Yes Yes, up to two hours Employees are excluded if they have four consecutive non-working hours in which to vote. At least 10 days prior to every election, employers must post a notice setting forth the requirements of the NY Voting Leave Statute. New York time off to vote
North Carolina No            
North Dakota Yes   Not defined Not defined Not defined Employers are encouraged to provide time off to vote when employee’s regular work schedule conflicts with times polls are open North Dakota time off to vote
Ohio Yes A resonable amount of time off although no specific amount to specified. Not defined Not defined Not defined   Ohio time off to vote
Oklahoma Yes Two hours and employee must get sufficient time off if they require more. Employee must provide notice the day before the election Yes Yes, but employer may require proof of voting Employees are excluded if shift begins three or more hours after the polls open, or ends three or more hours before polls close. Oklahoma time off to vote
Oregon No            
Pennsylvania No            
South Carolina No            
Rhode Island No            
South Dakota Yes Two hours required Not defined Yes Yes Employees are not eligible if they have two
consecutive non-working hours in which the polls are open.
South Dakota time off to vote
Tennessee Yes Up to three hours Not defined Yes Yes Employees are excluded if they have three nonworking hours with the polls open. Tennessee time off to vote
Texas Yes Not defined, but time off is permitted Not defined Not defined Yes Employees are excluded if they have two consecutive non-working hours in which to vote. Texas time off to vote
Utah Yes Two hours Employee must apply prior to election day YES, but must grant request for
leave to be taken at the beginning or
end of the shift.
Yes Employees are excluded if they have three or more non-working hours in which to vote. Utah time off to vote
Vermont No Yes, amount not specified   Not defined Not defined    
Virginia No            
Washington Yes Up to two hours Not defined Not defined Yes   Washington State time off to vote
West Virginia Yes Up to three hours Employee must make request in writing at least three days in advance of election day. Yes, if the employee works in essential
government, health, hospital, transportation, or in an industry requiring continuous operation.
Yes Employees are not eligible if they have three or more non-working hours in which to vote. West Virginia time off to vote
Wisconsin Yes Up to three hours Employee must provide notice before election day Yes No Employees serving as election officials must be
allowed leave upon seven days notice to the
employer.
Wisconsin time off to vote
Wyoming Yes One hour Not defined Not defined Yes Employees are excluded if
they have three or more
consecutive non-working to
vote.
Wyoming time off to vote
Washington D.C. No            

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