But, first

Before we can get down to the nitty gritty of actually recording receipt of returned mailers and entering their receipt into VERIS, we need to be familiar with the different types of returned mailer envelopes that will come across your desk.

For voters in Fairfax County, there are three broad categories of mailers: first is domestic, second is overseas, and third is e-mail.

The domestic returned mailer is used by a Fairfax County registered voter who does not wish to or is unable to vote in person.

An overseas returned mailer, also known as UOCAVA (Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voter Act) mailer, is used by those Fairfax County registered voters who are active duty military or civilians living overseas. Uniformed members can be stationed either overseas (as the name implies) or located at a stateside military base such as Ft. Belvoir.

The domestic and overseas returned mailers are primarily received by this office via USPS. However, they can also be returned by other mail/package delivery systems such as FEDEX, and UPS. We can also receive mailers “by hand” via an absentee ballot “drop box” located outside the Fairfax County Government Center in Fairfax or by the voter walking in to the building, going room 323, Fairfax County Office of Elections, and handing their returned mailer containing their marked ballot to the receptionist or by dropping it into a smaller ballot drop box located in room 323.

Finally, there is the email returned mailer. It’s used by overseas and stateside active duty military members only. The registered voter requests their absentee ballot online. Once the request is approved, that person is e-mailed a link allowing them to print a ballot, voting materials and instructions, as well as envelope templates to enable the voter to mail their ballot back to this office for eventual entry into VERIS.

Examples of the three mailer types follow.