Top 5 mail in voting mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Top 5 mail voting mistakes and how to avoid them Axios

Did you know that in Pennsylvania your ballot will be thrown away if it doesn’t have a second, inner “secrecy” envelope? Neither did I! Learn more about what to avoid when mailing in your ballot, via AXIOS

If you’re planning to cast your ballot by mail this year rather than voting in person, these are the most common mistakes to avoid so you can ensure your vote is counted.

Why it matters: About 1% of absentee ballots that were cast in the 2016 and 2018 elections were ultimately tossed, according to the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC). That could translate to hundreds of thousands of uncounted ballots this year — enough to potentially change the outcome of the presidential race.

Here are the leading reasons ballots are typically rejected, based on recent elections:

1. Missed deadlines

Around a quarter of rejected absentee ballots in 2016 and 2018 were due to ballots arriving too late, according to EAC studies.

What to do: Check your state’s postmark and receipt deadlines. If voting by mail, earlier is better than later once you’re ready— especially given the reported mail delays in some places.

  • If you’re not sure it’ll make it in time, drop your ballot off in person or at a drop box if available in your area.
  • Most states offer online ballot tracking. Click on your state in the interactive graphic above to find how you can track your ballot or contact information for your local elections office.

2. Forgetting to sign

  • 20% of rejected ballots in 2016 and 13% in 2018 were missing the voter’s signature.


Learn more!


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