Haven't sent in your mail-in ballot yet? Drop it off in-person instead, election officials say

A canvasser processes mail-in ballots in a warehouse at the Anne Arundel County Board of Elections headquarters on October 7, 2020 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Whether you’re in Maryland, D.C., or Virginia, if you haven’t sent back your mail-in ballot yet, election officials say you’re going to want to drop it off in-person instead.

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In Maryland, the State Board of Elections put out a release Wednesday, encouraging voters to use drop-boxes, not the mail “as reports mount of delayed delivery nationwide.”

Virginia Department of Elections Commissioner Chris Piper appeared on Good Day DC Thursday morning with a similar warning, saying at this point the best bet for Virginia voters is to drop-off their ballots.

Meanwhile, D.C. election officials tweeted a graphic Thursday afternoon that noted USPS delivery times are “considerably longer than normal” and added that voters should take their ballots to drop-boxes or vote centers instead.

“Our concern right now is we want to be sure that every ballot is counted and we receive every ballot from every voter who wants to participate, and even the Postal Service is saying, ‘don’t use the mail right now,’” D.C. Board of Elections Public Information Officer Nick Jacobs explained.

The concern is partly due to the fact that there are cut-off dates for when ballots must be received. In Maryland and the District, ballots must be postmarked by November 3rd and they have to arrive by November 13th to be counted. In Virginia, ballots also have to be postmarked by Election Day, but if they arrive after noon on the 6th, you’re out of luck.

Officials said they don’t anticipate any issues with ballots that have already been mailed.


DC VOTING 2020: Everything you need to know about voting in the District

MARYLAND VOTING GUIDE 2020: County-by-county information on how, when and where to vote

VOTING IN VIRGINIA 2020: Everything you need to know county by county