Ballot Curing-What is it?

Photo by Joshua Woroniecki on Unsplash

(UPDATE: Steps and links to cure your ballot in the 2022 AZ, CA, CO, and NV elections below in the notes.)

It’s been an historic election season with unprecedented levels of early and absentee voting. Local Election Officials (LEOs), already overwhelmed by the volume of absentee and mail-in ballots, will now play a critical role in the final counts of some very close races. But in addition to counting ballots, many of these officials will also need to “cure” them.

Allow us to explain. Part of the process of counting absentee ballots is verifying that these have been submitted following the state election rules. If such a problem arises, the ballot may not be accepted and therefore not counted. Many states’ election laws provide for a process called ‘curing,’ which gives voters a chance to fix this problem so that their ballots can be counted.

Ballot curing entails two steps:

1. The Local Election Official identifies a problem including:

A) A voter’s signature doesn’t match the one on file. This can happen if a voter
signs their ballot materials with a mouse or trackpad, making the signature
different from one written with a pen. If the signature on file is years or
decades old, it may differ from the current signature.
B) A voter’s signature is missing or in the wrong place on the ballot
C) Witness information (where relevant) is incorrect or incomplete.

2. The LEO contacts the voter and offers a way to fix or “cure” the problem. Typically, the LEO will give the voter an affidavit to sign and return with a form of identification like a copy of a passport or state driver’s license. By completing this process, the ballot can then be counted. Some of the states where it is still possible to cure your ballot this year are: Arizona, Florida,
Georgia, Mississippi and Nevada. (For a complete list of the verification process by state, click here. For a list of states that allow signature correction, click here.)

Some of the states listed above may well decide this election. If you’re an American voter living abroad, you’re also entitled to cure your ballots. Be sure to check your email (including your spam), as this will be the most likely method of communication from your LEO.

Ballot curing is sure to come under heightened scrutiny this year. It may well become front page news — the ‘hanging chads’ of 2020. Let’s all take this vital step to make sure all of our votes count.

Notes:
Arizona voters
1. Check your ballot status: https://my.arizona.vote/AbsenteeTracker.aspx
2. If there is a problem, contact your county immediately to find out how to “cure” it
Deadline to Cure: 5th business day after federal election = Nov 15, 2022

Nevada voters
1. Check your ballot status: https://www.nvsos.gov/VoterSearch/
2. If there is a problem, contact your county clerk immediately
3. You will need to confirm your signature belongs to you. The process is set up on a county by county basis.
Deadline to Cure: 7 days after federal election = Nov 15, 2022

Colorado voters

Deadline to Cure: 8 days after federal election= Nov 16, 2022

California voters

Deadline to Cure: 6 December, 2022

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