November 30, 2020
Voting by mail? Track your election ballot like a FedEx package in every state -- here's how

Over 40 million people already voted by mail. Here’s how to track your ballot online


Election voter information guide

You can 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.

Americans have been voting early this year ahead of the 2020 elections, with more than 61.2 million votes already in and nearly 41 million of those being mail-in votes. And if you’ve decided to vote by mail this election, like millions of other Americans, you may be surprised to know you can track your ballot online after you vote. Most states offer a way to let you see where your ballot is online, so you know when it’s received.

Tracking your ballot can give you peace of mind, knowing it arrived before your state’s deadline. If you’re concerned about voting by mail, know there’s been no evidence of coordinated vote-by-mail fraud, with fewer than 150 criminal 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 service or rely on the US Postal Service to monitor a ballot’s whereabouts.

Depending on where you live, you may be required to enter information like your first and last name, date of birth and sometimes your Social Security number. It’s always a good idea — and, in the case of USPS, it’s necessary — to save the tracking number on your ballot to help locate its whereabouts. 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: California expects ‘big, big turnout’ for November election


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