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Voters should drop off their ballots since it is unlikely the USPS will deliver them in time to be counted. There are only four days to the election, and any ballot that is not postmarked by Nov. 3, 2020, they will not be counted. In many states, votes will not be tallied if they are not in the election office by the 3rd.
According to data gathered by USA TODAY, Washington D.C., and 21 states will count ballots if they arrive after election day. Nonetheless, with the drastic changes instituted since Louis DeJoy became the Post Master General in June, trusting timely delivery through the mail might not be the best idea. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson states:
We are too close to Election Day, and the right to vote is too important to rely on the Postal Service to deliver absentee ballots on time.
November 6 Deadline
- If voters’ ballots are postmarked by the 3rd and received by the 6th, they will be tallied in Kentucky.
- Kansas and Virginia require the postmark by the end of business on election day. In Kansas, ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on the 6th, whereas in Virginia, they must be received by noon.
- In Massachusetts, the deadline is 5 p.m.
- Pennsylvania’s deadline of November 6 has been the subject of a legal battle, and on October 28, the Supreme Court declined to interfere with the state’s election rules. Voters should have their ballots postmarked by the 3rd.
November 9 Deadline
- Iowa and North Dakota require absentee ballots to be postmarked by November 2 and received by noon on the 9th.
- In West Virginia, ballot mailed by November 3 will be accepted if received by the 9th.
November 10 and 12 Deadlines
- Typically, Minnesota’s deadline is the 10th, but due to a federal appeals court sided with Republicans, the secretary of state said ballots arriving after election day “are at risk of being invalidated.”
- In Mississippi, Nevada, and New Jersey, ballots postmarked by the 3rd and arriving by the 10th will be counted.
- November 10 is the deadline for ballots to arrive in New York. However, if a ballot arrives on the 4th, votes will be tallied with or without a postmark.
- North Carolina’s deadline of 5 p.m. on November 12 has been litigated. On October 28, the Supreme Court decided to allow ballots to be received and counted if they are postmarked on the 3rd.
November 13 Deadline
- Three states will count ballots on November 13 if they are postmarked by election day. They are Alaska, Maryland, and Ohio.
- Washington D.C. election officials will accept ballots on the 13th that were mailed by the 3rd.
November 17 and Later Deadlines
- In Illinois, if ballots are mailed by November 3, they have up to 14 days to arrive before they are rejected — November 17.
- Utah expects voter’s ballots to be postmarked by November 2 and received by the day of the county canvass, which is the review of election returns and the official declaration of election results by the board of canvassers. In Utah’s biggest counties, the canvass takes place two weeks after the election, whereas in the smaller counties, the canvass is one week after November 3.
- California and Washington will count ballots after the election if they are postmarked on the 3rd and received by the 20th and 23rd, respectively.
To determine where voters should drop off absentee and mail-in ballots, find election information on the state’s dot.gov website.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Politico: Dems urge voters to avoid mailing ballots in the final week; by Zach Mortellaro
USA Today: Fact check: Mail-in ballots arriving after Election Day will count in some states; by McKenzie Sadeghi
Featured Image Courtesy of Patrick Buechner’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Top Image Courtesy of Tony Webster’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License