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VERIFY: Do mail-in ballot return envelopes indicate party affiliation?

KGW can VERIFY: Ballot envelopes do not reveal party affiliation. Mail-in voting experts say most voter fraud claims are extremely exaggerated or just false.

Across the nation ballots are still being counted for the 2020 presidential election and voters are eagerly awaiting the results.

Recently, a Facebook video post emerged that falsely claimed the return envelopes for mail-in ballots reveal party affiliation. The narrator in the video falsely stated that postal workers toss the ballots if they see a certain party affiliation on the envelope. This is not true.

The false information propagated in the Facebook video in question has since amplified concerns over the security of mail-in voting. KGW viewer Susan Hughes recently asked:

Do the return envelopes containing the mail in ballots indicate the party affiliation? How do officials know before opening the envelope that it is Republican or Democrat vote?

So, KGW set out to VERIFY: Do the return envelopes containing the mail in ballots indicate the party affiliation?

While there is a precedent for voters to have their party affiliation listed on their ballot envelopes in some primary elections, this is not the case for general elections. 

In the Washington state presidential primary this past March, voters had to identify as Democrat or Republican on their return ballot envelopes. This was meant to distinguish which primary election voters were participating in.

RELATED: 'It's unusual, it's different' | Elections officials conduct Washington primary

While this was the practice in primary elections in Washington and around the country, it was not the case for the U.S. General Elections this November 3rd.

“There are unique identifiers on ballot envelopes that allow election officials to know who the voter is, and the county uses the envelope to compare the signature to the signature in the voter’s record," said Oregon Secretary of State's Office spokesperson Andrea Chiapella. "Information such as party [affiliation] is not visible on the envelope.”

So ballot envelopes do not reveal party affiliation. Despite what the Trump campaign is saying about the mail-in voting system being fraudulent, mail-in voting experts assure voters that these claims are exaggerated and false.

Again, Oregon state return envelope colors have nothing to do with party affiliation or political alignments. The different colored envelopes help the U.S. Postal Service distinguish each respective ballot.

"The counties do it to help identify their ballots and distinguish theirs from those of other counties," Chiapella said.

KGW can VERIFY: Ballot return envelopes for the 2020 presidential election do not indicate party affiliation. The post office does not know which ballots are Democrat and Republican. 

Watch: VERIFY on YouTube

Do you have something you want us to Verify? Let us know. Email us at VERIFY@kgw.com

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