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Simple steps to make sure your absentee ballot counts

Posted at 9:40 PM, Oct 18, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — With just a couple weeks left to get your absentee ballot in the mail, it's important you make sure you are following all the right steps to make sure your vote counts. Here are five tips to make sure you do not spoil your ballot:

  1. Yes, you really do need both envelopes.
    • Here's why: one envelope is your security envelope. Think of this like your proof of identity. You need to put the ballot in the envelope, then sign and date it, just like you would sign your name if you walk up to the polling station to vote. To be clear: Do not discard the security envelope.
  2. Mark the ballot with blue or black pen.
    • Do not reach for your red or orange pen that you like to use for your to-do lists or to help with your child's remote learning. The ballot scanner may not read colored pens. Keep it boring and simple with blue or black ink.
  3. Stay inside the lines.
    • This isn't a Bob Ross painting. There are no happy little accidents. Any writing or marks outside the ovals will invalidate your ballot. If you're going to write-in a candidate, fill in the oval to the left of 'write-in' and print the name clearly.
  4. Don't forget to put a stamp on the outer envelope
    • See list item number one for envelope pointers.
  5. Mail with a postmark no later than November 3rd.
    • If you want to deliver your absentee ballot in person, there are key dates for that. Click here for details.