VIDEO: What To Do With All Those Envelopes In Your Absentee Ballot Package
- Written by Sam Turken
- Category: Elections 2020
- Published: 15 October 2020
If you’re voting absentee in Virginia for the 2020 election, you could get overwhelmed with envelopes when your ballot arrives in the mail.
Well, sort of.
Virginia’s absentee ballot packages include three envelopes. Envelope A is the main one that contains your ballot, instructions and other voting materials.
It includes a warning: “Do not open except in the presence of a witness.” Ignore that. Virginia isn’t requiring that absentee voters fill out their ballots in front of a witness this year.
You can toss Envelope A in the recycling once you open the package.
Envelope B is where things can start to get confusing, if you’re not careful.
Virginia is one of 16 states that require ballots to be cloaked in a “secrecy sleeve” or envelope to protect privacy.
Envelope B is blank on the front. On the back, it includes a voter statement, saying that you are who you say you are. It asks for your signature. You must also fill in your address.
Once you fill out your ballot, place it in Envelope B.
Finally, there’s the third envelope that’s part of the absentee ballot package — the return envelope. It includes postage and the address to your elections registrar’s office.
Place your completed Envelope B — including ballot — inside the return envelope. Then you’re done. No more envelopes.
You can mail your absentee ballot to your elections office or place it in a dropbox at the office or a satellite location. Check with your locality about dropbox locations.
Tara Morgan, Hampton’s voter registrar, says about 20 to 30 Hampton voters have misused the envelopes and had to fix the mistake.
“There’s been a handful that they don’t — they haven’t included the B envelope, so we just call them,” she says. “But overall, we have way more people who are using it the correct way.”
Morgan says about 7,000 Hampton residents have voted by mail so far.
The last day to request an absentee ballot is October 23, 2020.