When to fill out the affidavit of delivery on mail-in ballots

  • Election authorities urge suburban voters to carefully follow a set of instructions for filling out their mail-in ballots, including signing and sealing the certification envelope and ensuring an "affidavit of delivery" is completed if someone other than the voter or the U.S. Postal Service submits the ballot.

      Election authorities urge suburban voters to carefully follow a set of instructions for filling out their mail-in ballots, including signing and sealing the certification envelope and ensuring an "affidavit of delivery" is completed if someone other than the voter or the U.S. Postal Service submits the ballot. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted10/7/2020 5:15 AM

You fill out your mail-in ballot from the comfort of your home, sign and seal the certification envelope, and then you notice a blank space on the back titled "affidavit of delivery."

While navigating an already daunting list of vote-by-mail instructions, some suburban voters have expressed confusion over when and why this section would need to be completed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

If you're planning to drop your ballot in the mailbox, you can leave the affidavit blank. The section is relevant only if someone other than you or the U.S. Postal Service delivers your ballot, DuPage County Clerk Jean Kaczmarek said.

The friend or relative submitting a ballot on behalf of another voter would become the "authorized delivery agent," in which case the chain of custody needs to be disclosed on the back of the envelope and signed by both parties.

In some counties, including Lake and McHenry, this applies primarily to ballots dropped off in person at the clerk's office, where the delivery agent's ID and signature will be checked, officials said. In suburban Cook County, staff members will be checking secure drop box sites to ensure ballots are being delivered by the voter or authorized agent.

You do not need to fill out the affidavit if you are dropping off your own ballot.

If you received a mail-in ballot but decide to vote in person, you have to bring the ballot to the polling place and surrender it to election judges. Voters who misplace or forget their mailed ballots will be allowed to vote provisionally.

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