If you're dreading the drive to your local polling place on Election Day, you may find yourself wondering whether there's an easier way to do your civic duty. After all, it's 2016. You can shop online, order food online and go to school online... but can you vote online?
In most cases, the answer is no.
Last month, Donald Trump supporters on Reddit created and circulated a graphic claiming that "You can vote at home comfortably online!" Mashable reported it urged Americans to "Simply post 'Hillary' with the hashtag #PresidentialElection on your Facebook or Twitter account between 7:00am and 9:00pm on November 8th!" But it was fake.
Despite being discussed at the federal level since 1999, only five states let people send in their votes through a website, or online "portal," according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. These include Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, North Dakota and Missouri. Twenty-one permit certain people to return their ballots via email or fax, and six states allow people submit votes via fax only.
Affected voters are mostly associated with the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, a 1986 law that covers service members and their families who are living overseas. Alaska is the main exception — it's the only state where all voters can apply for electronic transmission ballots.
If you're a civilian who lives elsewhere, you're probably out of luck. Authorities argue that, at this point, online voting is too risky to adopt widely in the U.S.
"The biggest obstacle to voting on the Internet is the security problem," network security expert Avi Rubin told ABC News in 2012. "The fact is that right now the security threats on the Internet are getting worse, not better. Before we can allow people to vote on computers we have to make sure people are in control of their own computers."
Don't let that keep you from using your voice in this election. Find your polling place here.