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Most states will let you track your mail-in ballot – here’s how

Published Oct 14th, 2020 4:32PM EDT
How to track mail-in ballot
Image: Larry Marano/MEGA
  • Millions of Americans are voting by mail in the presidential election this year due to the threat of being infected with COVID-19 at their polling places.
  • Once you’ve filled out your ballot and sent it back in, a vast majority of states (and DC) will allow you to track your ballot to ensure that it has been received and validated.
  • Everyone should check the status of their mail-in ballot to ensure that it was received and that it wasn’t invalidated due to any mistakes that might have been made.

A record number of Americans are expected to vote by mail this year due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. Voting by mail is safe and easy, and once you’ve received your ballot, filled it in, and mailed it back, most states have systems in place that will let you track it to make sure that it has arrived and has been validated.

NBC News created an interactive website earlier this year that provides detailed information about mail-in and early voting, and if you plan to do either, I highly recommend checking it out. According to that site, 46 states will allow you to check on the status of your mail-in ballot, and below, we’ll tell you how to check each one.

Here are all of the states that allow you to track your mail-in ballot and the links to the sites where you can do so:

Meanwhile, if you live in Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, or Texas, you’re out of luck, although some counties in Texas and Illinois have set up tracking for their residents, such as Harris County, which contains Houston. If you don’t see your state above, do a little digging and see if your jurisdiction has set up its own tracking system.

Not only will keeping track of your ballot give you peace of mind, but not every state is required to inform you if there was something wrong with your ballot, and manually checking the status might be the only way to find out whether or not your ballot was actually accepted. Even if you’re confident that you did everything correctly, it’s not a bad idea to check and make 100% sure that your vote is going to be counted on November 3rd.

If you want to see just how many people are voting early in 2020, check out the U.S. Elections Project.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.

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