Reassuring Voice

Clerk: Mail in absentee ballots


Boxes full of mailed-in ballots are arriving at the Montgomery County Clerk’s Office in plenty of time to be counted in November’s election.

With more than three weeks until the deadline to request an absentee ballot, clerk Karyn Douglas, seeking to reassure voter concerns about the speed of mail delivery, said voters can drop their ballots in the mailbox instead of hand-delivering them to the office.

“We do see people coming in who are like, ‘Well, we’re hearing about the mail and, you know, we want to make sure you get [the ballot],’” Douglas said.

“We’re getting it, so they don’t need to come and bring it up here.”

The first batch of ballots was sent out last Friday. Ballots mailed to local addresses began returning in four business days, Douglas said.

More than 1,300 ballots were shipped in the initial mailing, according to the clerk’s office. A total of 3,366 people voted absentee by mail in June’s primary.

Voters who had sent in their request weeks earlier had called the clerk’s office asking when their ballot would arrive. Douglas said the office had to wait until the date when ballots are mailed to military and overseas voters.

Absentee voting begins as a federal judge in Miami earlier this week ordered the U.S. Postal Service to speed up all election mail and pay postal workers for the additional hours.

That ruling came days after another federal judge, acting on behalf of 14 states, halted the postal service’s controversial “leave behind” policy where trucks have been leaving postal facilities on time regardless of whether there is more mail to load.

States were concerned that delays would result in voters not receiving ballots or registration forms on time. Douglas praised local postal workers for quickly processing absentee ballots.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 22. Mailed-in ballots must be received by Election Day on Nov. 3 or returned in person by noon that day.

Voter registration ends on Oct. 5, with in-person early voting kicking off the next day.

Voters can check their application status or request a ballot at The absentee ballot request form is also available on the clerk’s office website at


The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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