Now that you have your amazing ballot, it is time to vote. You have the next couple weeks to decide what you want to do. You can do your research, talk to your friends, watch the news, read The Seattle Lesbian – however you figure out what you want to vote on.
Your voter’s pamphlet will be mailed to you. Heck, you may already have it. Hang on to that. You only get one per household. So don’t Bogart the pamphlet! Your parents taught you how to share right? Pass that thing around to all the voters in the house.
Once you’ve made your voice heard on that ballot, place it into the secrecy envelope they provide and put that envelope and ballot into the important envelope with the place for you to sign. DO NOT FORGET to sign your ballot envelope! If you don’t sign, the ballot will not be counted until they get a signature from you. Also, be careful to sign the envelope that has your name on it silly!
You may not know this, but EVERY SINGLE signature on EVERY SINGLE envelope returned is checked and validated. They look at the signature on your envelope and compare it to the signature they have on file from your registration form. This is one of the reasons elections can take weeks to complete. The longer you wait to turn in your ballot the longer it will take to get validated. It is a growing trend for voters to wait until Election Day to return their ballots. There isn’t anything wrong with that, however it does create a huge spike in volume for election workers and most ballots returned on election day are not counted until the day after the election because all those signatures have to be verified, as well as the many other checks and balances that are done to be sure 100% accuracy is obtained.
Now, the ballot is in the envelope and you have signed it and you are ready to turn it in to get counted. You have a couple options. You can simply slap a stamp on that sucker and throw it in the mail. Easy peasy! You can also take it to a local ballot drop box. Many counties have 24 hour permanent boxes throughout the county for people to drop their ballots into. There is no need for a stamp if you choose to take it to a drop box.
All ballots MUST be postmarked by Election Day, November 6. Be aware, it is not common for the Post Office to have extended hours to postmark your ballot. So if you missed the postmark on Election Day you will need to get that ballot into a drop box NO LATER than 8pm. That is when the election is officially over. One second past that time and it will be too late and that would be sad, so get that ballot in right away!
If you lost your ballot or made a mistake or need a replacement ballot for any reason, call your local elections department. They will get you a new one or tell you how to properly correct your mistake.
… your election guru.