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ELECT Postmark Guidance

After a successful lawsuit by Republicans in Frederick and Winchester, the Department of Elections issued guidance to the electoral boards and registrars on how to deal with missing and illegible postmarks on ballots arriving after Election Day but before noon on Friday. The guidance document and a copy of the Court order are attached (Click "View page" below to access the attachments).

The substance of the guidance follows:

Take the following steps to process absentee ballots returned by mail after Election Day but by noon the third day after the election:

Postmarked on or before Election Day:

  • Process these ballots normally.

No postmark:

  • Review the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) data.
  • If the IMb shows that the ballot was mailed on or before the date of the election, the ballot will be counted.
  • If the IMb does not clearly show that the ballot was mailed on or before the date of the election, the ballot will not be counted.

Illegible postmark:

  • Review the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) data.
  • If the IMb shows that the ballot was mailed on or before the date of the election, the ballot will be counted.
  • If the IMb does not clearly show that the ballot was mailed on or before the date of the election, refer to the date of the signed voter oath on Envelope B.
  • If the oath date is on or before Election Day, the ballot will be counted.
  • If the oath date is after Election Day, the ballot will not be counted.

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