How to ensure your mail-in vote counts

Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 3:54 PM EDT
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BEDFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - A mail-in ballot - it’s what many Americans are turning to amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

It was also a topic of discussion during Tuesday’s presidential debate.

WDBJ7 asked one local registrar to take us through the process to ensure your mail-in vote counts.

“So be sure to read all your information before you send it in," said Cynthia Kanode, Bedford County deputy registrar.

Kanode took WDBJ7 on a step-by-step walk-through of the process.

First: the vote by mail application, starting with your name.

“The first thing you would do would be your last name," said Kanode.

From there, Kanode says to fill out the social security number box.

Not fully filling out that box has been one of the biggest mistakes she’s seen.

“They are required, so you have to fill that out. If that’s not filled out, then I have to deny it because it is a requirement," said Kanode.

After getting the preferred address down, she reminds people to mark the election date and their locality.

“And then you would put the date of the election, which is November 3. And then you would put the county in which you live in," said Kanode.

After looking over some other options, she says to submit the application.

Next, if everything looks good, the ballot comes in the mail.

Kanode says filling in the circles completely ensures that your vote counts.

“Just try to stay in your lines. Don’t put an 'x' or don’t put a check, but take and complete your circle beside who that you’re gonna vote for," said Kanode.

After following these steps, Kanode says your ballot is almost ready to go.

“Be sure to turn your ballot over cause there is amendment questions on the back that you’ll want to answer those also," said Kanode.

Finally, Kanode says to mail your ballot in or drop it off at the registrar’s office to have it counted.

Kanode also wants to remind people that you don’t need a witness signature for this year’s election.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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