Voter Submission – A Voter in an Envelope

On election day, when a voter arrives at his polling location, he provides his name and address and presents identification, all before he is able to cast his ballot. Of course, the process is very different for an authorized absentee voter who is casting his ballot by mail.

An absentee voter who is taking advantage of the Vote By Mail option must return a ballot packet (i.e., voter submission) that typically contains, at a minimum, three components:

  • An outer mailer
  • A B envelope inside the outer mailer
  • A ballot inside the B envelope

These three components may look different based on the status and location of the voter.

For preprocessors, the B envelope is very important during ballot processing. The B envelope represents the absentee voter. On the B envelope, the voter is stating his name and address. In lieu of presenting identification, the voter provides his signature and that of a witness attesting that the information is correct. Be aware that for the November 3, 2020 election, the requirement for a witness signature has been waived.

Note that in some instances, a voter must provide additional documentation. This 4th component will also be placed in the outer mailer. We will discuss these specific instances later.