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Top reasons ballots get rejected

Rejected ballots are rare, but they do happen, so here's how to avoid it.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — So, you're ready to stick your ballot in the mail. But before you do, we thought we'd run down a few reasons that ballots get rejected here in Minnesota. That way you can fix it first. Okay, let's lead with some good news.

“We actually see very few rejected ballots,” says David Triplett, Elections Manager for Ramsey County.

But it does happen, so let's help you avoid that. Voting in person isn't a problem, we're talking about mailing it in. You know, when you can't spy, with your little eye, that ballot actually being counted?

“The most common reason a ballot envelope is rejected is because of a lack of signature,” says Jeff Narabrook, Elections Administrator for the City of Minneapolis.

Yep, seems simple, but don't forget to sign the envelope. And while you're at it, make sure it's YOUR envelope.

"Occasionally you'll get people who live in the same household, spouses, friends, whatever the case may be, they'll take each other's envelopes and they'll accidentally swap envelopes,” says Triplett.

RELATED: Here's what happens to your Minnesota absentee ballot after you mail it back

They're also looking for your identification number to match with your application. That's the last four digits of your social security, or your driver's license or state ID number. And in year's past you needed a witness to sign your ballot. That's been waived this year because of COVID-19, but there is an exception.

“If you are registering, or updating your registration, you still need a witness, and that witness can be a registered voter in Minnesota or a notary,” says Narabrook.

Elections officials tell us the list of instructions is long, but if you follow them, you'll be fine. And here's some more good news:

“If we do have to reject a ballot, state law does require us to automatically send you a replacement ballot so, for your viewers out there who are concerned that will my ballot be rejected, if it is, we automatically have to send you a replacement, and then 5 days before the election, we have to either call you or email you and let you know what your options are,” says Triplett.

Moral of the story? You have more time to get in your ballot this year, but don't dilly dally. You, know, just in case.

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