Garland County voters who have applied for an absentee ballot may have noticed the secretary of state's Voter View webpage showed their ballot has been sent, but the Garland County clerk's office said Friday that no ballots have been mailed.
The clerk and secretary of state's offices said the ballot sent designation on the Voter View page indicates a voter's absentee application has been received and processed. The clerk's office said when it prints address labels for mailing and return envelopes, the Voter View page shows the ballot as having been sent, as the web page and labeling system are linked to each other.
The clerk's office said it's yet to receive ballots from the Garland County Election Commission, which, according to the state's election calendar, has until Thursday to deliver them. Sept. 18 is the deadline for the clerk's office to mail ballots to county voters living overseas.
The clerk's office said it expects to start mailing ballots later this month in the order that the ballot application was received. Voters who applied last month or earlier should call the clerk's office, 622-3610, if they don't receive a ballot by early October, the clerk's office said.
About 3,000 applications had been processed as of Friday morning, the clerk's office said. It and the county election commission are expecting as many as 15,000 absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 general election, about 10 times the amount counted in the last presidential election.
An executive order the governor issued last month decreed concerns about contracting or transmitting the coronavirus at polling locations are a valid reason to vote absentee in the November election. Without the executive action, absentee voting would be limited to registered voters unavoidably absent from the polls, those with disabilities or illnesses and residents of long-term care facilities.
Oct. 27 is the deadline for the clerk's office to receive applications by mail or fax. They can be delivered to the clerk's office in person until Nov. 2. Voters indicate on the application if their ballot will be returned by mail, in person or by a third-party they have designated as their ballot bearer.
Nov. 2 is also the deadline for in-person delivery of ballots to the clerk's office. Election Day is the deadline for ballots to be returned by mail or by designated bearer. Ballots returned by mail or designated bearer after Election Day will not be counted, according to the state election code.
Oct. 5 is the voter registration deadline, and early voting begins Oct. 19.