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How to make sure your mail-in ballot is correct

Nearly 23,000 absentee ballots submitted in New York in 2016 were rejected because of simple errors

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, more people will be voting by mail in the upcoming election than ever before. 

With concerns about voter fraud making headlines across the country, how can you assure that your ballot is filled out and submitted correctly?

According to a survey by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, nearly 23,000 absentee ballots cast in the 2016 election here in New York were rejected because of errors as simple as an unsealed envelope or a forgotten signature. 

Once you receive your ballot, here's what you should do:

  1. Complete every line and fill it out from top to bottom. 
  2. Make sure to fold the ballot completely and put it in the security envelope. 
  3. Sign the security envelope and place that in the return envelope, which should say "Official Election Mail" on it, as well as the return address for your county's board of elections. 
  4. Make sure to seal that tightly and send it in.

Mail-In Voting Deadlines

  • If you're mailing your ballot back, it must be postmarked no later than November 3rd and received by your county board of elections by November 10th.
    • The NYS Board of Elections suggests you mail it out at least 7 days before election day, which is October 27th this year. 
  • If you're returning it in person to your county board of elections, it must be delievered by 9 a.m. on November 3rd. 
  • If you're dropping it off at your official polling place on election day, you can do so anytime before 9 p.m. 

For more information on how to vote by mail, you can visit the State Board Of Elections Website