Originally Published: October 25, 2014 6:02 a.m.
The 2014 General Election is just a few weeks away. I would like to address the subject of early mail-in ballots and clear up some misunderstanding regarding them.
If you have placed yourself on the early mail in ballot system, the ballot mailed to you is an official ballot, and you are recorded on the voter registration lists as having been sent one. I repeat, this ballot is an official ballot, just the same as one that would be issued to you at a polling place. If you decide that you would really like to assert your civic duty to vote by doing so at an actual polling place, you must take your mail-in ballot with you, along with the return envelopes provided, and vote with it at the polling place, place it in the envelopes as directed, and place it in the secondary ballot box. If you arrive at the polling place and attempt to receive a ballot, the clerks will be notified when they access your name on the computer that you have received a mail-in ballot. They will have to issue you a "provisional ballot." You will have to take it to the provisional ballot clerk who will have you fill out some paperwork with your information and stating why you are voting a provisional ballot. You will then vote the ballot and it will be placed in a special envelope along with the paper work and placed in a separate provisional ballot box. When it becomes time to count the votes, your provisional ballot will be investigated to determine that you did not actually send in your mail-in ballot, thus voting twice in the election. This is what causes the vote tallying to get held up causing results to be reported slower than necessary as each provisional ballot is investigated to determine if they are a qualified vote.
If you are on the early mail-in voting list and you wish to go back to the traditional way of, physically, voting at a polling place, call or go to the county registrar's office and get your name taken off the list before the next election. It is too late for this one, as you should have received your ballot in the mail by now.