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VERIFY: Answering the top 3 ballot questions from viewers

Can I track my ballot? If I requested a mail-in ballot can I vote in person? What to do if you get a ballot and it's not for you?

WASHINGTON — When it comes to where and how people will be casting their ballots this November, there's a lot of misinformation and questions out there.  That's why the Verify team exists -- to help clear confusion and provide answers to voting.

So, let's take a look at ballots.


D.C. Board of Elections

Maryland State Board of Elections

Virginia Board of Elections


Can I track my ballot?




The number one question in our Verify inbox is: can you track a ballot? If so, how?

DC voters can use Board of Elections “Track Your Ballot” webpage.

Marylanders voters can use the State Board of Election’s Voter Look up link.

Virginia voter can use State Department of Election's Absentee Ballot Lookup link.

D.C. is one of just a handful of election boards that sent mail-in ballots to every registered voter. 


What do I do if I receive a ballot for someone who no longer lives at my address?


Don't open or throw away the ballot. Mark them "Return To Sender" and mail it back to the Board of Elections.


That led to dozens of tweets popping up, with people say they’re getting stacks of ballots at their address for people who haven’t lived there in years. 

With all the additional ballots being sent to wrong addresses, viewers asked us to Verify: if you receive a ballot for someone who doesn’t live at your address, what should you do with it?

D.C. election officials sent mail-in ballots to every registered voter so if you got one for someone that no longer lives at your address, officials say write "Return To Sender" on the envelope and drop it in the mail. 

RELATED: VERIFY: Here are the deadlines for mail-in ballots and when ballots will be processed around the DC area

If I requested a ballot but want to vote in person, can I?




Verify viewers also asked our team to Verify “If you requested a ballot but want to vote in person, can you?

The answer is yes in D.C., Maryland and Virginia but the process differs in each jurisdiction.

Virginia officials told us to bring the ballot with you, an election official will “spoil" it. You will get a new ballot and vote on a voting machine.

If you don’t bring the ballot with you, officials will ask you to cast a provisional ballot that goes through extra vetting and it counted after the election.

The Maryland State Board of Election’s Vote by Mail instructions are very clear. It says, “If you request a mail-in ballot and show up to vote, you will have to vote a provisional ballot.” 

DC officials told us voters should bring their ballots and use one of the city’s drop boxes. 

Click here for a list of dropbox locations in D.C.

If a voter wants to vote in person and does not bring his or her ballot, election officials said the voter will be asked to vote by “Special Ballot” – that’s the term DC uses for a provisional ballot.

If you cast a provisional ballot in Maryland or Virginia or cast a Special Ballot in D.C., it will go through some extra vetting before it can be counted.

RELATED: VERIFY: Here's what you should do if you receive more than one ballot in DC

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