My absentee ballot arrived, now what?

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (WDVM) – Absentee ballots are arriving in many District of Columbia mailboxes this week, according to the D.C. Board of Elections.

Every registered voter in the district will get a ballot, as decided earlier in the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that does not limit the options voters have when it comes to how they will vote.

Once the absentee ballot is received, voters have the option of filling it out and mailing it in, filling it out and dropping it off at one of 55 ballot drop boxes that will be scattered across the city or filling it out and dropping it off at a voting site. Ballots can be dropped off at voting sites during advanced voting or on Election Day.

As the ballots make their way to mail boxes, the board of elections asks that voters be patient. Nick Jacobs, spokesperson for the board, said, “They’re going to be going out in multiple batches. If you have received your ballot, and someone in your household has not, it will arrive. If it doesn’t after a couple of weeks, let us know.”

Voters also have the option of voting in person. If voters decide to vote in person and discard their absentee ballot, the board of elections recommends marking the ballot “void” with a permanent marker. Doing so will prevent someone from marking your ballot for you and sending it in before you make it to the polls.

In order to prevent people from voting twice, the board said they will only count the first vote that comes from a single person. Therefore, if someone takes a discarded ballot, marks it and turns it in before that person votes for themselves, the ballot that was turned in first will count as their vote.

The board also warns that they will be prosecuting anyone who tries to take advantage of the system by trying to vote twice. If found guilty, this can lead to a fine of up to $10,000 or up to six months in jail.

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