Are mail in ballots no longer counted after the polls close?

It used to be that mail in ballots were counted after the polls closed. The numbers of mail ins were small, so in most cases they didn’t change the outcome, but I remember elections where there were delays in calling a winner, because the voting booth races were close enough that mail in ballots could change the outcome.

I haven’t heard anything like this in this year’s election. So has there been a change in when and how mail in / absentee ballots are counted?

Some states allow them to be counted if they arrive within X days of the election and they have a postmark from before election day, so it can still happen that a race is too close to call until those come in.

In Ohio, they count the ones they have on election day, before polls close (the numbers are released after polls close), but the stragglers aren’t added until ten days after election day. There was a very slim chance of this mattering in the special election in the 12th district in August, so everyone pretended it was too close to call until they arrived.

The BBC are reporting that 25 districts were won by a margin of 5% or less so that could mean still more changes.

The mail in ballots counted by the city of Milwaukee around midnight flipped the Wisconsin governor and SoS races comfortably blue after being barely pink and in recount territory before then. No recount possible unless the straggling mail ins and the military votes tighten the race back up. Walker screwed himself last year by signing legislation with a 1% threshold needed for a recount. He is losing by 1.1% last I heard.

Oregon did a lot of advertising this year about “postmarks don’t count” and the date after which ballots should be dropped rather than mailed.

I voted in California. There was a line to vote and a box where people could drop off their absentee ballot.

They dropped off their absentee ballot…there at the polling place…on election day…

Lazy ass motherscratching dolts. Too lazy to wait in the line. Which wasn’t bad at all. I was there for a half hour which included the line, the check in, the vote and getting my damn sticker. Gorramit, if you are doing an absentee ballot, at least buy a stamp and mail it in ahead of time.

I was surprised by that one. Walker was winning around midnight (I think polls closed at 9pm) by a few hundred, maybe a thousand votes and 99% of jurisdictions reported. By morning he had lost by 30,000. Glancing online, it looks like of the 47000 mailed in ballots, Evers (Walker’s opponent) took 40,000 of them.

As long as I’m looking, I also see that Brad Schimel was nudged out by 22,000 votes, of which 30,000 were mailed in.

For those that don’t know, Brad Schimel (Wisconsin Attorney General) was featured heavily in the second season of Making a Murderer as the one of the driving forces keeping Steven Avery in jail.
I know at least one person that I was talking to said they never really gave the AG a second thought, but after watching this had no problem voting against him. It kinda made me wonder if they timed the release of the series to come out right before the elections. Especially since the production of this season wasn’t nearly as good, imo.

My California mail-in ballot said that to be counted it had to be postmarked on or before November 6 and arrive no later than three days after the election (which I take to mean Friday).

You could also drop it off in person at any polling place, which is what I wound up doing.

The state of Colorado is almost entirely done via mail-in ballot. Every registered voter receives a ballot in the mail. There are still some live polling places, but the majority of voters mail in or drop off their ballots. They have to received by the polling places on 7 pm on election day to be counted. Postmarks do not matter. As such, about 70% of eligible voters in Colorado vote.

To piggyback on this, a lot of the voting done at the polls are done by people using same-day registration to cast a vote.

A someone who votes absentee and often drops off my ballot at a polling place, I have to say I’m kind of baffled by this comment. Why the vitriol?

Are my actions harming you in some way? Is there moral virtue to standing around in line? How is it lazy?

In MA we have early voting, mine was at city hall. You put your ballot in a sealed envelope and they start opening and counting them on election day, but not sure exactly what time of day.

This is the second post on this board I’ve seen chuckling over the fact that Walker “screwed himself” by signing that law.

Wow–you liberals truly will believe anything.

Firstly, the common threshold for a recount is 0.5%. Secondly, even when an election is within that margin, it’s fairly rare for a recount to reverse the initial result. American elections tend to be very good and quite accurate. There is seldom any problem that is big enough for a recount to actually be significant.

Where in any of my 2k+ posts have I ever said I was liberal. He can’t ask for a recount because of legislation he signed. Just the facts. It was all a knee jerk reaction to the last presidential election when a contender with about 1% of the vote asked for a recount. They pushed through legislation afterwards raising the bar. Walker happens to be the first one that could consider the recount being blocked by his own signature. I haven’t checked if any of the other statewide offices were close enough to recount.

I did that. I also turned it in at my assigned polling place, instead of at a polling place near work, which is what a lot of people do. Basically, I took the day off work and spent four hours to do final research and to reflect and make my final choices as I filled out my ballot. You don’t want me doing that at the polls.

Also I have bad knees. Standing is just the worst.


So, instead of going out to deliver their ballots in person, people should…put them in their mailboxes and not even bother leaving the house to vote, and the reason they should do that is to avoid laziness.

Okay then.

While I might wonder at the motivations that would lead someone to drop off an absentee ballot at the polling place and day, I certainly wouldn’t criticize it. They’re voting. Whatever their reasons are for doing it in that way (and I’m sure they do have reasons; I just don’t know what they are), the important point is that they’re voting.

My motivation is: I don’t like waiting in line, I often don’t actually complete my mail-in ballot far enough in advance to be sure the post will be reliable, the polling place is on my way to work, and I want a sticker.

Think of it this way: everyone who does it my way makes the wait shorter for people who prefer to fill in the ballot the day of!

Registering to vote by mail means that you can vote early; it doesn’t mean that you must. :slight_smile:

Being prone to procrastination, I didn’t seriously attempt to locate my by-mail ballot within my house until Tuesday morning. I took it to work and filled it out at my desk later that morning. Per California’s rules that I mentioned in a previous post, I could have dropped it in a mailbox that day and been fine*, but I instead chose to carry it to a polling place near work (not “mine”) while out for a lunchtime run.

The “I Voted” sticker came in the mail with the ballot; I didn’t put it on until after I got back and showered/changed, though…

    • There’s always a remote chance that an item mailed on Tuesday will take more than three days travel go a few cities over, or be lost entirely.