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Don't Wait Too Long To Return That Vote-By-Mail Ballot

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

If you’re voting by mail this election, you might want to drop that ballot in the mail very soon to make sure your vote counts.

“Under current law, the ballot has to be received by Election Day,” says Kim Alexander with the California Voter Foundation. “Postmarks do not count. It’s not like a tax return.”

She says some voters hang onto their mail ballots too long.

“So if you want to make sure your vote-by-mail ballot gets counted, the best thing to do is to mail it in the week before the election – not the Friday before, not the Saturday before. Give it a full week to go through the post office.”

Or, Alexander says, don’t mail it at all. “Hold onto it, return it in person at your county election office, or take it to any polling place in your county on Election Day.”

Other tips: make sure you sign your ballot’s envelope – not the ballot itself – and make sure your signature matches the one your county has on file. That’s your DMV signature, if you registered to vote online.

 election 2014

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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