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  #1  
Old 20.08.2020, 16:37
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US Citizens: How are you sending back your ballots?

So fellow Americans, what are your thoughts on the best way to ensure your ballot gets delivered to your local board of elections?

I sent my primary ballots in via Eingeschrieben A post - as I usually do - in February for the early March primary. In May my ballot came in marked as undeliverable, and in July my husband's came back as undeliverable as well.

The ballot was deemed undeliverable on the US side, but it's impossible to tell from the stamps where in the US it landed.

Now, it could well be that the pandemic messed up deliveries, but I have spoken to my county's Board of Elections and they say that the office was open, receiving mail, throughout.

All this was before all the fol-de-rol over mail-in ballots/threats to undermine the post office, so I am quite worried about how to ensure that my general election ballot actually gets delivered in time for Nov 3.

How are you all planning on sending your ballots in? Regular first class mail? Registered/Eingeschrieben? Fed Ex or other carrier company?

(Were it not for quarantine, I'd fly home to deliver my ballot in person...)

Many thanks.
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Old 20.08.2020, 16:55
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Re: US Citizens: How are you sending back your ballots?

I've always sent mine by registered mail.

Disheartening to hear about your returned ballots. Fingers crossed we can make it through this year!
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Old 20.08.2020, 19:02
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Re: US Citizens: How are you sending back your ballots?

I've always sent Einschreiben, but I send it in a larger carrier envelope, addressed to the specific address where it needs to go, and with VOTING MATERIALS ENCLOSED on the outer envelope.

Double-check your state's rules before considering FedEx or another service. Some states require that absentee ballots have a postmark in order to be counted - and only valid postal services can issue that mark. Thus a ballot delivered via FedEx would not count in those states.
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Old 20.08.2020, 19:33
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Re: US Citizens: How are you sending back your ballots?

Carrier pigeon.

Tom
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Old 20.08.2020, 19:44
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Re: US Citizens: How are you sending back your ballots?

I know nothing about the rules so please check if the following is possible vefore you try it.
Can you send it via FedEx etc to a family member and they can then post it in the US?
Would that be an option?
Or can you vote through the embassy?
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Old 20.08.2020, 19:48
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Re: US Citizens: How are you sending back your ballots?

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Carrier pigeon.

Tom
Smoke signals.
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Old 20.08.2020, 19:49
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Re: US Citizens: How are you sending back your ballots?

Just think of all this terrible voter fraud that is going to be committed by all of the expats worldwide... it will obviously completely skew the election results.
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Old 20.08.2020, 20:02
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Re: US Citizens: How are you sending back your ballots?

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I know nothing about the rules so please check if the following is possible vefore you try it.
Can you send it via FedEx etc to a family member and they can then post it in the US?
Would that be an option?
Or can you vote through the embassy?
Sending to a family member via FedEx could work, but it would potentially leave the ballot open to challenges if the voter is overseas but the ballot is postmarked from Chicago (random city chosen, I have no idea where melon is from).

Unfortunately, U.S. citizens cannot vote at/through the embassy. Elections in the States are controlled at the local level - that means county in most states, but in some it is even the municipality. Thus every ballot is different.

Google tells me there are 3,141 counties (or equivalent) in the USA, so even if you ignore the states that do elections by municipality there would be 3,141 different ballots.

Coincidentally this is also why concerns about foreign governments other bad actors submitting ballots to stuff the box are largely unfounded. It would be very difficult for an outsider to know which paper stock to use, which marks to use and where on the paper, which barcodes, the order of candidates, etc., and the ballot would still have to be in a valid absentee envelope with a real voter's name, address and signature.
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Old 20.08.2020, 20:14
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Re: US Citizens: How are you sending back your ballots?

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Sending to a family member via FedEx could work, but it would potentially leave the ballot open to challenges if the voter is overseas but the ballot is postmarked from Chicago.
No, it would not.

Tom
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Old 20.08.2020, 20:19
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Re: US Citizens: How are you sending back your ballots?

My state (Washington) offered me the option of returning my August primary ballot via email. It will do the same for the November elections as well.

I've never had a problem with the email option.
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Old 20.08.2020, 20:37
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Re: US Citizens: How are you sending back your ballots?

When should we request/order our overseas ballots?
Is it too late already?
And.... what website are you consulting to find the correct way to get your ballot?

All advice welcome
Thanks in advance
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Old 20.08.2020, 20:44
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Re: US Citizens: How are you sending back your ballots?

Registered Mail seems like the best option as you can track it.

But vote early if you want to be counted.
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Old 20.08.2020, 20:51
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Re: US Citizens: How are you sending back your ballots?

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No, it would not.

Tom
Yes, it would. I don't want to be a jerk but seriously - remind me how many years you worked as an election official in the USA, Tom, and how many federal-level qualifications you have. I'm betting zero on both accounts. You haven't even been a citizen in forever although your children are.

Every ballot is potentially open to challenge. This year more than ever, watchers are going to be challenging like crazy. Being challenged doesn't mean the ballot is automatically thrown out, but it does mean it's set aside for extra scrutiny.

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My state (Washington) offered me the option of returning my August primary ballot via email. It will do the same for the November elections as well.

I've never had a problem with the email option.
Yes, some states offer this. The downside, if you want to call it that, is that in most states, you basically lose the secret ballot. Two officials, one from each major party, re-make your ballot on the "real" ballot paper and witnesses it, so that your ballot is fed into the counting machine just like all the others.

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When should we request/order our overseas ballots?
Is it too late already?
And.... what website are you consulting to find the correct way to get your ballot?

All advice welcome
Thanks in advance
Request any time, sooner is better than later. You can start on FVAP then navigate to your own state's site:
https://www.fvap.gov/
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Old 20.08.2020, 20:55
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Re: US Citizens: How are you sending back your ballots?

I am still waiting to get my ballot... 2 months after making the request.
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Old 20.08.2020, 20:58
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Re: US Citizens: How are you sending back your ballots?

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I am still waiting to get my ballot... 2 months after making the request.
Contact your municipal clerk again. PM me if you need a specific name and e-mail address of same (assuming the state in your username is where you were last registered).
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Old 20.08.2020, 21:10
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Re: US Citizens: How are you sending back your ballots?

We vote in NC, and they send us the ballot via email we print it out and sign it, scan back in and send via email. This has worked for us since 2008.

I register via vote from abroad, fvap.gov - they send the info to the state we vote in and we hear from the state we vote in.

My understanding is that ballots will be ready early September, so register on the fvap site as soon as possible.

We donít vote in primaries since we are unaffiliated voters.

I would contact vote from abroad and ask them for suggestions.
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Old 20.08.2020, 21:59
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Re: US Citizens: How are you sending back your ballots?

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Contact your municipal clerk again. PM me if you need a specific name and e-mail address of same (assuming the state in your username is where you were last registered).
I did. She is not the most friendly personality, atleast via email communication. She said they will not have ballots to mail out till mid September. Seems tight.
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Old 20.08.2020, 22:06
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Re: US Citizens: How are you sending back your ballots?

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We vote in NC, and they send us the ballot via email we print it out and sign it, scan back in and send via email. This has worked for us since 2008.

I register via vote from abroad, fvap.gov - they send the info to the state we vote in and we hear from the state we vote in.

My understanding is that ballots will be ready early September, so register on the fvap site as soon as possible.

We donít vote in primaries since we are unaffiliated voters.

I would contact vote from abroad and ask them for suggestions.
Hmm I think that's what I did last time. But this time, my local clerk informed me its better to ask for the ballot to be mailed as lot of people do the printing thing incorrectly and then the ballot is disqualified. It sounded unnecessarily complicated so I decided to go for slow mail.
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Old 20.08.2020, 23:18
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Re: US Citizens: How are you sending back your ballots?

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Hmm I think that's what I did last time. But this time, my local clerk informed me its better to ask for the ballot to be mailed as lot of people do the printing thing incorrectly and then the ballot is disqualified. It sounded unnecessarily complicated so I decided to go for slow mail.
When we email ours back, the local clerk lets us know if there are any problems with the ballot.
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Old 21.08.2020, 00:46
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Re: US Citizens: How are you sending back your ballots?

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Carrier pigeon.

Tom
By Paul Revere on horseback who will also announce that 'the British are coming' looking for a
trade deal after leaving the EU !!
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