Election Day Troubleshooting: What to Do if Your Absentee Ballot Never Arrived
Here's what to do if your absentee or mail-in ballot didn't arrive.
At last, another Election Day is upon us. Over 42 million absentee ballots have been cast already. You can track yours here.
But what if yours wasn't one of them? What if you requested an absentee or mail-in ballot and it never arrived? Does that mean you're out of luck and can't vote this year?
No. If your absentee ballot never arrived or you misplaced it, you have options.
Check if you can get an absentee ballot from your local election office
In some places, you can still pick up an absentee ballot from your local election office and drop it off in a ballot dropbox or at your local election office. Find your local election office's contact information here.
Vote in person
You can also vote in person. If you go with this option, know that most states will require you to complete a standard affidavit or other documentation confirming that you never received your ballot before you can vote in-person.
In some states — such as New Jersey, Alabama, Texas and California — you'll need to complete a provisional ballot. Your ballot will be counted after it's verified that you didn't already vote.
Click here to see each state's process for a missing absentee ballot.
Missing ballot procedures in battleground states
These are the options for battleground state voters whose mail-in ballots are missing on a state-by-state basis.
Vote in person at your polling place. The specifics of a missing ballot vary county by county, so ask your local county clerk. Find your local county clerk's contact information here.
Vote in person. You'll need to sign an affidavit at your polling place confirming that you never received an absentee ballot. Once you've done this, even if an absentee ballot from you is received by the clerk later on, the absentee ballot won't be counted. Remember to bring photo ID.
Vote in person. You'll need to sign an affidavit at your polling place confirming that you never received an absentee ballot. Once you've done this, even if an absentee ballot from you is received by the clerk later on, the absentee ballot won't be counted.
Vote in person using a provisional ballot. You'll need to sign an affidavit at your polling place confirming that you never received an absentee ballot. Once you've done this, even if an absentee ballot from you is received by the clerk later on, the absentee ballot won't be counted.
Vote in person at your polling place and tell a poll worker that you didn't receive your absentee ballot. Remember to bring photo ID.
Sound off: are you a voter whose absentee or mail-in ballot didn't arrive in time? What's your contingency voting plan?
—Lorelei Yang & Jamie Epstein
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I unfortuantely live in a really red gerrymandered state. I only vote hoping that enough folks around me will join in and actually make a defference. I get sick every time I hear them campaigning because they fought for and got the infrastructure bill passed and they alone rescued the Chips bill that Democrats wanted to tank.
If the nimrod voters of the country hand over the House and the Senate with their gerrymandered districts and voting suppressed electorate, I may look for greener pastures and ecourage my kids to do so as well. It frankly could become dangerous when the brown shirt MAGA-morality police are formed and come looking for me.
In our state the polling place will know if an absentee ballot has already been turned in as the system captures each step making it easier to get a provisional ballot as long as it hasn't been returned for validation & cout.
In 2020 when I voted absentee I receive emails & text messages telling me each step that completed and the date:
1) requested a ballot
2) completed ballot returned via ballot box had been mailed to the address in my drivers license (just like my new license was)
3) ballot validated. My ballot had no problems but the system said if there were problems that I'd be notified so I could correct it.
4) ballot counted
Go to your polling place/election office and get a provisional ballot.
My county is great about this. I get a text when they are mailed so know to keep an eye out. A follow up text that explains if you haven't received your ballot here's what to do. Then a text when it's actually counted.
You should have voted in person?