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ArlingtonSome mail-in ballots arrived too late for counting

Some mail-in ballots arrived too late for counting

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Some Arlington voters cut it a little too close, or relied a little too zealously on the U.S. Postal Service, in the recently concluded election.

Although specific figures are not kept, a number of mail-in ballots arrived beyond the Nov. 5 deadline for receipt in the county’s election office, and thus weren’t counted.

“There isn’t really a final tally, and this isn’t something we actively track,” county elections chief Gretchen Reinemeyer told the Sun Gazette.

Ballots arrive late in most elections, Reinemeyer said. For reasons that can only be guessed at, “we will receive ballots years after an election” in some cases, she said.


(It works the same way going the reverse direction: Reinemeyer said that an election officer received a check for service at the polls – “in pristine condition” – five years after it had been mailed out.)

The election office also received “a handful” of mail ballots after the Nov. 2 election that had missing or unreadable postmarks. In that case, local officials follow state law, which requires them to check with the U.S. Postal Service to see if postal officials scanned the piece into their system, and if so, when.

“If there is no record of it being scanned and there is an illegible postmark, we refer to the date signed by the voter,” Reinemeyer said. If there is no postmark and no record of it being scanned, it is invalid, she said.

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