Time Off to Vote: A State by State Guide


Author: Lowell Steiger

Published On: October 25, 2008

Time Off to Vote

Must your employer give you time off to vote?  See the chart below for a state by state analysis!

StateTime Allowed to VotePaid or UnpaidApplicable Statute
AlabamaThe necessary time off shall not exceed one hour and if the hours of work of the employee commence at least two hours after the opening of the polls or end at least one hour prior to the closing of the polls, then the time off for voting as provided in this section shall not be available.Unspecified2006 Alabama Laws Act 2006-545 (H.B. 141)
AlaskaSufficient time to vote, unless the employee has two consecutive hours in which to vote, either between the opening of the polls and the beginning of the employee’s regular working shift, or between the end of the regular working shift and the closing of the polls.PaidAlaska Statutes § 15.15.100
ArizonaThree hours, unless polls are open three hours before or after shift.PaidArizona Revised Statutes §16-402
ArkansasEmployer shall schedule sufficient time on election days so that employees may vote.UnspecifiedArkansas Code § 7-1-102
CaliforniaTwo hours at the beginning or end of the regular working shift.PaidCalifornia Election Code § 14000
ColoradoTwo hours unless polls are open three hours before or after regular working shift.PaidColorado Revised Statutes §1-7-102
ConnecticutNone
DelawareNone
GeorgiaTwo hours unless polls are open two hours before or after regular working shiftUnspecifiedGeorgia Code §21-2-404
FloridaNone
HawaiiTwo hours, unless polls are open two consecutive non-working hours.Paid, with proof that vote is castHawaii Revised Statutes §11-95
IdahoNone
IllinoisTwo hours.Unpaid10 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/17-15
IndianaNone
IowaThree hours, unless employee has 3 consecutive hours non-work time when polls are open.PaidIowa Code Annotated § 49.109
KansasUp to two hours.PaidKansas Statutes Annotated §25-418
KentuckyUp to four hours.UnpaidKentucky Revised Statutes § 118.035
LouisianaNone
MaineNone
MarylandEmployees who do not otherwise have two hours of continuous off-duty time when the polls are open may take up to two hours of leave to vote.Paid with proof of votingMaryland Code, Election Law, § 10-315
MassachusettsVoters employed in mechanical, manufacturing or mercantile businesses allowed time off during the first two hours after the polls have opened only if an application for absence has been submitted.UnspecifiedMassachusetts General Laws Annotated 149 § 178
MichiganNone
MinnesotaEmployees are allowed to take time off during the mornings of election days.PaidMinnesota Statutes Annotated  § 204C.04
MississippiNone
MissouriEmployees may take up to three hours off to vote on Election Day during the times the polls are open if a request for time is made prior to Election Day and the polls are not open for three successive hours when the employee is not at work. The employer may specify any three hours when the polls are open during which employees may take time off to vote.PaidVernon’s Annotated Missouri Statutes 115.639
MontanaNone
NebraskaEmployees are entitled to up to two hours to vote if the employee does not have two consecutive non-work hours to vote while the polls are open. The employee must request time off to vote prior to the Election Day, and the employer may specify when during the working day employees may take time off.PaidNebraska Revised Statutes § 32-922
NevadaEmployees 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. Employers may designate the specific time employees may take.PaidNevada Revised Statues 293.463
New HampshireNone
New JerseyNone
New MexicoEmployees may have up to two hours, unless they have two free hours before work or three free hours after work while the polls are open. The employer may designate the hours to be taken, but it may not include lunch or rest hours.PaidNew Mexico Statutes § 1-12-42
New YorkEmployees are allowed to take “sufficient time” on Election Day as is necessary to allow them to vote, if four consecutive non-working hours are not available while the polls are open. Employers may designate whether the time is to be taken at the beginning or end of the shift.  Employees must notify employers of the need for time off not more than 10 days and not less than 2 days before the election. Employers must post a conspicuous notice of employee rights at least ten days before Election Day.Paid up to two hoursMcKinney’s Consolidated Laws of New York § 3-110
North CarolinaNone
North DakotaThe law encourages employers to provide time off to vote when an employee’s regular work schedule conflicts with the times polls are open. NOTE: The recommended policy is voluntary.UnspecifiedN.D. Cent. Code § 16.1-01-02.1
OhioEmployers are prohibited from firing an employee who takes a reasonable amount of time to vote.Paid for salaried employees.Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3599.06
OklahomaEvery employer must allow its registered voters up to two hours off to vote on Election Day, during the time when the polls are open.PaidOkla. Stat. Ann. § 26-7-101
OregonNone
PennsylvaniaNone
Rhode IslandNone
South CarolinaNone
South DakotaEmployees are entitled to be absent from work on Election Day between the time the polls open and when they close, if the person does not have a period of two consecutive hours during the time the polls are open in which he or she is not required to be at work.PaidS.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 12-3-5
TennesseeAn employee may be absent for a reasonable time, not to exceed three hours, without penalty to vote during the time the polls are open in the county where the employee resides. If the tour of duty of an employee begins three or more hours after the opening of the polls or ends three or more hours before the closing of the polls of the county where the employee is a resident, the employee may not take time off under this section. The employer may specify the hours during which the employee may be absent. Application for such absence shall be made to the employer before noon of the day before the election.PaidTenn. Code Ann. § 2-1-106
TexasUnless the polls are open for voting for two consecutive hours outside of the employee’s working hours, employers must give employees leave to vote without penalty.PaidTex. Code Ann. Election  Code § 276.004
UtahEmployers must provide employees up to two hours off between the time the polls open and when they close, unless the employee has at least three non-working hours during the time the polls are open. The employer may specify the hours during which the employee may be absent.PaidUtah Code Ann. § 20A-3-103
VermontNone
VirginiaNone
WashingtonEmployers are required to arrange employee work time on the day of an election so that each employee has a reasonable amount of time available for voting if the employee would not otherwise have two hours free (not including meal or rest breaks) to vote while the polls are open.PaidRCWA 49.28.120
West VirginiaMaximum of three hours time off to vote must be granted upon written demand made at least three days prior to Election Day.PaidW.Va. Code § 3-1-42
WisconsinAn employee is permitted time off to vote for a period not to exceed three successive hours while the polls are open. The employee must notify the employer before Election Day of the intended absence. The employer may designate the time of day for the absence.UnpaidWis. Stat. § 6.76(1)
WyomingAt the employee’s convenience, the employee may take one hour between the opening and closing of polls to vote.PaidWyo. Stat. § 22-2-111
Washington, D.C.None  

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