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No excuse Absentee Ballots, HOWEVER, first time voters who are only voting in the federal can do vote by mail regardless, but if you want to vote in state or county elections, if you registered by mail and this is your first time voting, you must vote in person unless you have a qualifying reason. Being a college student living outside your county is a valid reason, having an illness or disability that prevents you from going to the polls is a valid reason; being pregnant is a valid reason.