December 5, 2020
Voting by mail? Track your election ballot like a FedEx package in every state -- here's how

How do I track my mail-in ballot? Here’s how for every state and DC


Election voter information guide

We’ll show you how to keep track of your mail-in ballot online.


James Martin/CNET

This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET’s coverage of the run-up to voting in November.

Election Day is Nov. 3, and nearly one-third of America’s population opted to vote early this year. As of now, over 97 million ballots have been marked, and more than 62 million of those represent mail-in votes. The good news is, for people who decided to vote by mail this election, that most states let you track your ballot online after you vote.

Be aware that different states have different deadlines for mail-in ballots. Some deadlines to mail in your vote have already passed, while others will allow your ballot to be postmarked by a cutoff time Tuesday evening.

If you’re concerned about voting by mail, know there’s been no evidence of coordinated vote-by-mail fraud, with fewer than 150 convictions for the crime over the last 20 years. Here are some ways to make sure your vote will count

The way your ballot is tracked may differ state by state, or even county by county. For example, BallotTrax is one service your state might use, but others have their own systems or rely on the US Postal Service to monitor your ballot’s location. The Associated Press said it’s also counting and verifying election returns throughout the US.

When tracking your ballot, you may need to enter information such as your first and last name, your date of birth and sometimes your Social Security number. Some systems, like the Postal Service, will need the tracking number on your ballot slip (the part you tore off along the perforated lines). States like Wyoming and Mississippi require you to call your county clerk’s office for tracking information.

After you vote, here’s how to track your ballot online in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Read more: How to watch election night results on Nov. 3


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