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  7. Absentee Ballot Notification

We want to remind all community members who are submitting absentee ballots for the School Budget Vote and Board of Education Election to remember to include your name, address and signature on the outside of the return envelope. Signing the envelope is the same as signing the voter roll when you are voting in person. The purpose of doing this is to protect the voter from someone else voting as them.

We understand that the absentee ballot itself, and filling out the absentee ballot return envelope, are probably new for most of our residents and you may have questions about how we process these absentee ballots, particularly how we ensure voter anonymity.

We are able to ensure voter anonymity through a two-step process as required by law. First, prior to the ballot envelope being opened, specific Election Inspectors compare the voter’s name and address on the envelope to our registered voter roll to confirm that only residents of the District are voting. These same Election Inspectors make sure the envelope is signed to ensure that no one other than you is using your ballot to cast a vote.

Second, once this information has been certified by these Election Inspectors the ballot envelope is opened, the ballot, without being unfolded, is immediately separated from the return envelope and the folded ballot is placed into the ballot box with the other folded absentee ballots. Then, a different set of Election Inspectors whose sole job is to record the votes as presented on the ballot removes the ballots from the box and records the votes, without knowing who submitted that ballot. Again, while most residents have not previously voted using absentee ballots, it is very important for our community to know we are utilizing the same absentee ballot process for this year that has been used in past budget votes and elections for those residents who may have been temporarily out of the area, or for other reasons were unable to cast their ballot in person. Vote integrity and voter anonymity are essential to our budget vote and Board of Education member election and by utilizing this two-step process we are able to safeguard the voting process.