How to Track Your Ballot After You've Mailed It In

Illustration for article titled How to Track Your Ballot After Youve Mailed It In
Photo: Kristen Prahl (Shutterstock)

There are so many factors at play in the upcoming presidential election, and one of them is how the country is going to vote during a pandemic. Of course, in-person voting is still an option, but with so many states offering the electorate the chance to vote by mail, it will likely be a popular option in November.

That would be great, except the current president keeps insisting that mail-in ballots are prone to fraud (without any evidence) and has basically told us that he won’t commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he’s voted out of office.

Regardless of where your political affiliation lies, you may be concerned—or at least curious—about what happens to your ballot after you mail it in. As it turns out, you don’t have to wonder, because it’s possible to check on your ballot. Here’s how to do that.

How to track your mail-in ballot

Before you mail your ballot in, make sure to take note of its tracking number (write it down, email it to yourself, take a photo of it, etc). Every state is different and can use its own tracking service, but any that use the USPS will require a tracking number to check in on your ballot, CNET reports. Some states—like Wyoming and Mississippi—make you call your county clerk’s office to get tracking information on your ballot.

Fortunately, the good people at CNET compiled this list of instructions for tracking your ballot in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.:

And while you’re visiting your state’s site, also take note of what you should do if there appear to be any issues with your ballot. If there aren’t specific instructions, contact the Secretary of State’s office, or whichever department provides information about voting if you’re unable to track yours down.