To the editor:
Earlier this summer, I decided to vote in this year’s elections by mail, so that I would not need to go to my precinct polling place during this time of COVID. I went to the Secretary of State website and quickly signed up for an absentee ballot. The whole process was very convenient. When I received my primary ballot by mail, I followed all the instructions, filled it out completely, and promptly put it in the outgoing mail, about two and half weeks before the primary election. I was pleased with how easy the process was.
When I received my absentee ballot for the general election, I filled it out right away and returned it. Recently, I went online to the Minnesota Secretary of State website to ensure that my absentee ballot for the general election was received. The website notified me that my general election ballot was accepted and will be counted. However, I was very surprised to see that there was a message indicating that my ballot for the primary election had been sent to me but had not been returned nor counted!
I’m not sure what happened to my primary ballot after I placed it in the mail. But I want to encourage everyone who is voting early, especially by mail, to track the status of your ballot for the general election. It is easy to do on the Secretary of State website: sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting. Just follow the link that says "Track your Ballot" and you will be able to confirm that it was accepted and will be counted. If your ballot is not returned, then you can contact the Rice County elections office to find out what your options are to cast a provisional ballot. Do not assume that putting your ballot in the mail will result in it being counted.
Make sure to track your ballot. With an election as important as this one, make sure your vote counts!