Since the second and final presidential debate, Google searches for “Can I change my vote” and similar inquiries have spiked, according to Google Trends. A rather significant trend, since more than 62 million votes have already been cast in the election via early poll voting, absentee ballots, and mail-in ballots and we’re still seven days out from Election Day.
The initial post-debate spike in Google searches was only matched Tuesday morning, after President Donald Trump tweeted to the American people that they can change their votes in some states.
“Strongly Trending (Google) since immediately after the second debate is CAN I CHANGE MY VOTE? This refers changing it to me. The answer in most states is YES. Go do it,” the president urged. “Most important Election of your life!”
Strongly Trending (Google) since immediately after the second debate is CAN I CHANGE MY VOTE? This refers changing it to me. The answer in most states is YES. Go do it. Most important Election of your life!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2020
Here’s what those spikes look like in Google searches for “Can I change my vote”:
In some states within certain parameters, Trump is correct: You can change your early vote.
“Even if you request or cast and return an absentee ballot, you may still go to the polls and vote in person,” according to the New York State Board of Election.
“The Election Law recognizes that plans change. The Board of Elections is required to check the poll book before canvassing any absentee ballot. If the voter comes to the poll site, on Election Day or during early voting and votes in person, the absentee ballot is set aside and not counted.”
For more information, click here.
If you’d like to change your absentee ballot vote, you must do so in-person up to Election Day, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
If you’ve requested a mail-in ballot and have yet to send it in, and now want to vote in-person, the state says “you will need to bring both your mail-in or absentee ballot AND the outer return envelope to your polling place.”
“If a voter has already voted absentee and wishes to change their vote (because the candidate has dropped out of the race, or for any other reason), a voter can spoil their ballot by submitting a written request to their city or township clerk,” the state says.
Here are the parameters:
- The voter must sign the request and state if they would like a new absentee ballot mailed to them or if they will pick it up in person at the clerk’s office.
- This request must be received by 5 p.m. the Friday before the election if received by mail. An absentee ballot that has been returned to the clerk may be spoiled in person at the clerk’s office until 10 a.m. the Monday prior to the election. An absentee ballot that has not been returned to the clerk may be spoiled in person at the clerk’s office until 4 p.m. the Monday prior to the election.
- If a voter has not returned his or her ballot, the voter can surrender the ballot or sign a statement stating that the ballot was lost or destroyed and vote at the polls. There is no option on Election Day to spoil an absentee ballot that has been received by the clerk.
In MN you can change your vote — but it would have to be change two weeks before Election Day:
You can ask to cancel your ballot until the close of business two weeks before Election Day. After that time, you cannot cancel your ballot. To cancel your ballot, contact the election office that sent your ballot. Your options are to have a new ballot mailed; vote in person at your local election office; or vote at your polling place on Election Day.
“A voter, whether voting by absentee ballot in the clerk’s office or by mail, or at the polling place, can receive up to three ballots (the first two are spoiled),” says the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
“Washington state also allows voters to ‘cancel a ballot at any time before Election Day,’ said [Matthew] Weil, the Election Project director, with the state not counting any mailed-in votes until polling closes,” The New York Post reported.
You can change your early vote in Mississippi, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Please contact your local election office for more information.
According to CNN, you can change an early vote in Connecticut before Election Day, however, this seems to vary by town. Call you local elections office for more information.
Please check with you local elections office if you have requested a mail-in or absentee ballot, have not submitted it, and now wish to vote in-person.
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