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Problematic absentee ballot can cause election delays

Published: Oct. 8, 2020 at 7:14 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Official absentee ballots are in the mail, and with more people voting from home than ever before, 13abc checked with the Board of Elections about some common mistakes people make.

When voters make mistakes on their absentee ballots, their votes will still be counted. But in every election, ballots are delayed because of those voter errors.

A common mistake people make is leaving blanks on the verification envelope. If you miss portions or don’t sign, you’ll have to “cure,” or correct, your ballot, and your vote won’t be counted until you do.

Your ballot must be postmarked by the day before the election and received within ten days. So allow your ballot enough time to travel through the mail system or use your county’s dropbox.

Also, make sure your ballot doesn’t have any stray marks and the bubble is filled out according to the instructions. If the machine can’t read it, then the Board of Elections has to determine for whom you were trying to vote.

“We want people to fill their ballot out right. We want people to feel safe knowing that what they were choosing to vote for, who they were choosing to vote for, is actually how it’s reflected,” says Lucas County Board of Elections director LaVera Scott.

In Lucas County in a presidential election, Scott says hundreds of ballots can come in with problems. The board has to vote individually on each of those ballots. That process can take hours, and verification of all the errors can take days or weeks.

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