State voting laws: Can I miss work to vote? Here's how to know your rights as a voter.

Source: Shutterstock
Source: Shutterstock

Confused about whether you can skip work to vote on Election Day next week? Narrowing polls show that the presidential candidates are close, so it's super important to know your voting rights — and get to the polls without issue by the time they close on Nov. 8.

Alas, voting laws can be confusing because they vary from state to state.

If you are not sure whether you are allowed to take time off work to vote, check out the full list of all 50 states and their various rules about employee voting rights, available via FindLaw.

There are 23 states in which you have the right to take paid time off from work to go to the polling station:

• Alaska
• Arizona
• California
• Colorado
• Hawaii
• Illinois
• Iowa
• Kansas
• Maryland
• Minnesota
• Missouri
• Nebraska
• Nevada
• New Mexico
• New York
• Ohio
• Oklahoma 
• South Dakota
• Tennessee
• Texas
• Utah 
• West Virginia 
• Wyoming 

On the other end of the spectrum, there are 19 states where there's no law at all on the books requiring employers to let their employees go vote — with or without pay.

Voting dance party
Source: 
Giphy

Other states fall somewhere in the middle when it comes to voter protections.

For example, in Alabama, there is no law providing employees with paid time to cast ballots, but they're allowed to take unpaid time off work — "unless the employee's work hours commence at least two hours after the polls open or end at least one hour before the polls close," according to FindLaw. (In that case, the rules imply, you must go during your free time.)

New York, on the other hand, requires paid time off for voting, but there are caveats. If you are a New Yorker, you can take two hours paid leave at the start or end of your working day to go vote — unless there's a four-hour gap of time during which your polling station is open but you are not required at work. You must warn your boss and request leave between two and 10 days before Election Day. 

Knowing your rights is especially important right now, given renewed attempts at voter suppression in the run-up to the election.

Every vote counts.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Natasha Noman

Natasha is a News Staff Writer covering global affairs. She previously reported on regional affairs from Pakistan. Natasha is based in New York and can be reached at natasha@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Here's the secret to hitting "pause" on your debt

Get rid of debt more easily by getting a 0% balance transfer credit card, trying out new financial management apps, and turning to traditional debt consolidation tactics.

These are the telltale signs your student loan "relief" company is a scam

Student debt relief or loan servicing companies may sometimes have shady business records. Here's how to tell if a firm is real — or a scam or fraud.

5 classes you've never heard of — but that can boost your pay in the future

To earn high pay, these are the best classes to take, as traditional industries face existential crises and new lucrative fields of study emerge.

Why your health care costs could rise under the Senate GOP bill

How the Senate healthcare bill affects you: It could increase out-of-pocket costs, deductibles and premiums for consumers, and cut people from Medicaid, while lowering plan quality.

Tips that pay off: These 5 bits of career advice will get you a job you actually love

It doesn't take much to go from novice to career genius. These 5 easy steps will snag you your dream job.

7 unconscious mistakes that are ruining your job hunt

Sometimes the best career advice is to get out of your own way — and pay better attention to the unconscious mistakes you're making while communicating.

Here's the secret to hitting "pause" on your debt

Get rid of debt more easily by getting a 0% balance transfer credit card, trying out new financial management apps, and turning to traditional debt consolidation tactics.

These are the telltale signs your student loan "relief" company is a scam

Student debt relief or loan servicing companies may sometimes have shady business records. Here's how to tell if a firm is real — or a scam or fraud.

5 classes you've never heard of — but that can boost your pay in the future

To earn high pay, these are the best classes to take, as traditional industries face existential crises and new lucrative fields of study emerge.

Why your health care costs could rise under the Senate GOP bill

How the Senate healthcare bill affects you: It could increase out-of-pocket costs, deductibles and premiums for consumers, and cut people from Medicaid, while lowering plan quality.

Tips that pay off: These 5 bits of career advice will get you a job you actually love

It doesn't take much to go from novice to career genius. These 5 easy steps will snag you your dream job.

7 unconscious mistakes that are ruining your job hunt

Sometimes the best career advice is to get out of your own way — and pay better attention to the unconscious mistakes you're making while communicating.