On Your Side shows how to track your early ballot in Maricopa County
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — If you’ve mailed in your ballot, you might wonder, “Did my ballot get there? Was it counted? Was it lost?” Maricopa County says you don’t have to worry because you can actually track your ballot.
Election officials tell On Your Side that they’re making sure the upcoming voting process is as transparent as possible. “So from the time we receive your ballot, we have a lot of checks and balances,” says Megan Gilbertson, Communications Director for the Maricopa County Elections Department. “Bipartisan workers are here throughout the process. We have 24/7 live streams.”
Up to 90% of voters will have cast their vote early—either by mail or by dropping off their ballot in a collection box. The elections department will trace your ballot using your unique barcode that’s printed on the outside. But first, they make sure the envelope has your valid signature on it. “So once we’ve received that signature verification,” Gilbertson says, “a two member bipartisan team of differing parties sit together and take your ballot out of the envelope and that’s really where that secret ballot is born.”
Once it’s taken out of the envelope, your ballot is fed into the tabulation machine and your vote is counted. And if you want to check on the status of your ballot at any time, it’s easy. “So you can go online to beballotready.vote and see when we mailed your ballot, when we’ve received your returned ballot, if we’ve signature verified your ballot, or if we need to ask you a few more questions in order to make your ballot count.”
You can also ask the county to keep you updated through text messages as your ballot goes through the system. Just text the word “JOIN” to 628683 to sign up for text notifications.
In all elections, they’ll let you know when your ballot’s mailed out to you, when it arrives back at elections headquarters, and when they’ve verified your signature and counted your vote.
Elections officials recommend getting your early ballot in the mail by Nov. 1. You can drop off your ballot until 7 p.m. on election night. And there’s an added benefit to voting early. The campaigns get updated lists of who has voted, so you should get fewer political texts once your ballot is counted.
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