Absentee Voting: What You Need to Know

July 29, 2020

Today is National Vote-by-Mail Day which makes it a perfect day to talk about absentee voting in Wyoming!

Maybe you’re wondering, What is absentee voting? How do I get my ballot? When do I have to return it? We’ve got answers!

What is absentee voting? Absentee voting makes it possible for you to vote from home with a secure ballot that you complete, seal, sign, and return. Find out more from the Secretary of State’s Office.

How do I get my ballot? The Wyoming Secretary of State’s office and county clerks across Wyoming are encouraging voters to use the absentee ballot this year. It is safer and easier for thousands of our friends and neighbors. If you’re already registered, the Wyoming Secretary of State sent an absentee ballot to you. If you need to request one, you can call your county clerk, email them, or complete and return this form.

When do I have to return it? Voters in Wyoming need to know that (Wyo. Stat. s 22-9-119) is explicit that ballots received after the polls close “shall not be voted.”

That’s echoed by Teton County Clerk, Maureen Murphy (R), who says, “Don’t wait — make sure your vote is counted. All absentee ballots must be received in the clerk’s office by 7 p.m. on the day of the election to be counted.”

ESPC is recommending that people plan to put both their primary ballots and general election ballots in the mail at least seven days in advance of the primaries, and again seven days in advance of the general elections, out of an abundance of caution, to ensure their votes arrive in time and are counted.

For the primaries, this means mailing your ballot by August 11. For the general, it means mailing it the Monday before Halloween–by October 27. This year in Wyoming we’ll almost certainly have the highest percentage ever of total votes cast via absentee ballots. Which is great news.

Why is it so important?

It is safe and easy. It increases voter turnout. And some people like it better because they can take their time and research the candidates and races while completing the ballot.

In Wyoming, we have absentee ballots not vote-by-mail. And we don’t have postage on our ballots–you have to supply your own–but you can do what she suggests and read about the races and the candidates *while* you fill out the ballot. You can vote safely from home.

Please help us get the word out!

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