Where is my absentee ballot?
November 5, 2006 9:55 PM   Subscribe

My absentee ballot hasn't arrived yet, and the election is on Tuesday. What do I do?

Relevant info: I moved to a new address since the last election, so I had to re-register. I mailed my registration form a week before the deadline, so it should have gotten there in time. If it matters, I live in Berkeley, CA.
posted by number9dream to Law & Government (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can try going to the polls where you would vote if you were fully registered, that is if you are not elsewhere (and thus the absentee ballot). Usually they can give you a provisional ballot or just let you vote normally.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:03 PM on November 5, 2006

Yes, just go to the normal polling place for your new address and tell them your story. You'll be able to vote, although it may be a provisional ballot.
posted by Quietgal at 10:13 PM on November 5, 2006

Thanks for asking the question. I'm in the exact same position (though on the other side of the state in San Diego).
posted by mittenedsex at 11:09 PM on November 5, 2006

Go to your local polling place, explain that you are registered absentee but didn't recieve a ballot, and ask how to vote in person. The provisional ballot is the way to go.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:10 PM on November 5, 2006

FWIW, if it arrives in the mail tomorrow, you can likely drop it off at your election board either Monday night or Tuesday. They usually just specify that the absentee ballot must be recieved by the time the polls close.

If you're in another state or something, then there may be issues - call the appropriate election officials tomorrow and see what your options are.
posted by chrisamiller at 11:54 PM on November 5, 2006

Incidentally, I just finished absentee voting. While I was voting, in my polling place I also

1 - helped an impoverished student not get deported
2- witnessed for a wedding ceremony
3- gave a couple immigration advice

That's because my absentee ballot did not arrive on time as well. I was at the Embassy though and I filled out the Overseas Federal Write-In Ballot, which took me about an hour in the Citizen's Services office writing in each candidate/issue and my choices.

If you are overseas, you too can enjoy this right. You may need someone to fax you a blank ballot though.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:59 AM on November 6, 2006 [1 favorite]

Pollomacho -- the US Embassy in Beijing, right? My state failed to send my absentee ballot, so I have to go there to vote somehow tomorrow. Does the US Embassy have the Federal Write-in Ballot stocked, and do they take care of mailing it? (I'd rather go to Chaoyang than go through the process of mailing this internationally.) Thanks! Hope you read this.
posted by jbb7 at 8:55 AM on November 6, 2006

In Baltimore, I didn't get mine and went to the Board of Elections on Saturday, where they told me that it had never even been sent to me. (I mailed my form into my party, which apparently didn't mail many applications into the various Board of Elections, according to the elections people. This was a form mailed to me by my party and mailed to the pre-printed address indicated by this party.) I was able to fill out an absentee ballot right there (filling out a late application).
posted by Airhen at 9:59 AM on November 6, 2006

Jbb7, I hope you get/got this! Yes, they have the Write-in ballot. If you hurry they may still fed-ex it for you otherwise it is free US postal service on-post.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:59 PM on November 6, 2006

I went to US Citizen Services and got the ballot, but my state has much stricter deadlines for the FWAB than for their own absentee ballot. So I won't be able to vote. :( And I live in a district where the candidates for House rep are 48%-48%! Oh well.

Lesson learned: send in absentee ballot request, like, 3 months before the election
posted by jbb7 at 4:21 AM on November 7, 2006

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