How To Cast a Ballot By Mail
Voting by mail is easy! Fill out, print, mail.
First, request a vote by mail ballot using this online form & print out your application:
Trouble using our vote by mail tool? Print out a blank vote by mail application:
Senior or Disabled Vote by Mail Application
Out of County during Early Vote & Election Day Application
Then, Find the address of the Early Voting Clerk in your county & mail it:
All Voters who apply for a mail ballot will receive:
- Official Ballot
- Ballot envelope (will say “ballot envelope” on it)
- Carrier envelope (will say “carrier envelope” on it)
- List of declared Write-In Candidates
- Cost of Postage (if over 49 cents there should be a notice with the postage amount)
Some Voters (depending on their situation will receive:
- Statement of Residence (suspense voters) – the voter should fill it out and return it with the ballot
- Request for copy of id (first time voters whose DL or SSN on their registration application didn’t match)
Marking the Ballot:
- Straight Ticket – a straight ticket can be cast by simply marking the oval or arrow in the Straight Party section at the top of the ballot.
- Marking non-Dem candidates – If a voter wants to vote a Straight Democratic ticket but also vote for some individual candidates who are not Democrats (ex: in races where no Democrat is running) they may do so. Votes for all Democrats will count except in any races that have been marked otherwise.
- Local offices and propositions – The straight ticket option does not cover local, non-partisan races or propositions that may be on the ballot.
- Mistakes - If the voter makes a mistake that can’t be erased, they should simply make their intention clear so the ballot board knows who they intended to vote for.
Mailing the Ballot:
- After marking the ballot, the voter should place the ballot in the Ballot Envelope, seal the ballot envelope, place the sealed Ballot Envelope in the Carrier Envelope and seal the Carrier Envelope.
- The voter must sign the back of the sealed Carrier Envelope OVER the flap. It’s VERY IMPORTANT that the voter sign the carrier envelope OVER the sealed flap. Not doing so can lead to the ballot being rejected.
- The sealed Carrier Envelope should then be addressed to the County Early Voting Clerk, if it’s not already.
- The early voting clerk must receive (not just be postmarked) the ballot by 7 p.m. on Election Day.
- The ballot envelope and carrier envelope are usually different colors (varies from county to county and year to year). If you’re helping people over the phone, it’s good to know what color the materials are in your county to reference them that way with the voter (ex: put the blue envelope in the pink envelope)
- The carrier envelope may not be used to return more than one ballot. The carrier envelope may be delivered in another envelope (ex: If voters are hesitant to mail the envelope with their signature on the outside) and must be delivered by mail or by common or contract carrier (ex: UPS, FedEx). Only one carrier envelope shall be placed in another envelope, unless the additional carrier envelope(s) belong to a person registered to vote at the same address (ex: spouses, parents, or children in the same house can place their sealed carrier envelopes in a bigger envelope and mail them together).
Helping Voters With Mail Ballots:
- The best way to help voters with mail ballots and not break the law is on the phone. However, if a voter needs help filling out and/or mailing their ballot in person, no one should do that who has not been properly trained.
- Anyone who helps a voter with a mail ballot in person MUST put their name and address on the carrier envelope as a witness or assistant and check the appropriate box. No one may witness (for voters who can’t sign their name) more than 1 carrier envelope per election. Once in the presence of the voter, the witness/assistant may not in any way suggest who the voter should vote for.