Once you vote in a midterm or presidential election, how do you check to make sure your ballot has been counted? This answer varies depending on where you live and how you voted.
There is no standardized national system for tracking whether a ballot was counted. The ballot tracking landscape is a “mess, because it’s 50 different systems, and within each of those 50 systems, there [are] county registrars, so everybody has slightly different methods,” said Jessica Levinson, a professor and expert on election laws at Loyola Law School.
When you vote in person, you can see your vote be submitted, and it’s “a fair bet” that your ballot will count, Levinson said. As such, no state offers ballot tracking for in-person voting.
But when you mail in your vote, you don’t see it being processed and there’s more opportunity for mistakes to be made, so most states offer some form of confirmation for those ballots.
“People are worried about vote-by-mail because they’re not the ones physically putting it in somebody’s hands or putting it in the box, and I think that’s why the tracking is so much more robust,” Levinson said.
By and large, most mail-in votes do end up counting. Nearly 92% of mailed ballots were counted in the 2018 general election, according to a survey by the federal Election Assistance Commission. Among the most common reasons ballots were rejected were that the voter was not actually registered to vote; the ballot was missing an important document, such as an affidavit; the ballot was not received in time; the signature on the ballot did not match the signature on file; or the ballot lacked a voter’s signature.
Sometimes people can only vote a provisional ballot at their polling site, and these ballots often need follow-up from either the voter or election officials. If this happens to you, you can ask your local election official to explain how you can check to see if your provisional vote was counted or rejected (some states’ processes are listed below). A written explanation is your legal right under the Help America Vote Act.
If you want to double-check the status of your vote, here are your options:
You can check the status of your absentee ballot online. If you have further questions, contact your local election office.
Track your absentee ballot status at myvoterinformation.alaska.gov.
The Grand Canyon State offers both absentee and provisional ballot tracking at my.arizona.vote, and some counties go a step further. In Maricopa County, for example, you can sign up for text updates on your mail-in ballot.
View ballot status by entering your name and date of birth at the Arkansas elections website.
You can look up your mail-in ballot status and also sign up to get text or email notifications as information is updated.
Colorado offers status updates and alerts for mail-in ballots.
The state offers look-up service for both absentee and provisional ballots.
District of Columbia
In D.C., you can check your absentee ballot status online. If you are asked to cast a special ballot, check its status here.
The Sunshine State offers tracking for mail-in ballots. For help with provisional ballots, contact your local elections office.
Both absentee and provisional ballots can be tracked at the state’s “My Voter Page.”
Residents can head to ballotstatus.hawaii.gov to see if their mail-in vote was received.
Enter your info in Idaho’s voter record tool to check your mail-in ballot status.
Although some counties use mail-in ballot tracking software (Cook County has portals for both suburban residents and those in the city of Chicago), Illinois offers statewide tracking only for provisional ballots. Check your local election authority for absentee ballot tracking information.
Check if your ballot was received and counted with Indiana’s “My Voter Portal.”
Absentee ballot tracking is available for the entire state. Contact your county auditor for questions about provisional ballots.
Kansas offers tracking for mail-in ballots.
Nervous about your absentee ballot? Check its status with a statewide tool.
The state’s “Geaux Vote” portal offers tracking information for mail-in ballots.
The Pine Tree State has a statewide tool for tracking absentee ballots.
You can check the status of your mail-in or provisional ballot. Provisional ballot status will be made available 10 days after an election.
Find out if your mail-in vote was rejected or accepted at trackmyballotma.com. You can check if a provisional ballot was counted by calling 1-800-462-VOTE after Election Day.
You can track the status of your absentee ballot. For provisional ballots, Michigan recommends contacting your city or township clerk’s office.
You can see if your mail-in ballot was received and counted. Minnesota, one of the few states with same-day voter registration, is not required to offer provisional ballots.
Mississippi does not use statewide ballot tracking software. If you have doubts about your vote counting, contact your county election official.
Although some jurisdictions offer tracking for mail-in ballots, including the city of St. Louis and Calhoun County, Missouri does not have statewide ballot tracking.
Track your mail-in ballot status at app.mt.gov/voterinfo.
Nebraska offers mail-in ballot status in its voter information tool.
The state’s Ballottrax site provides tracking information and the opportunity to sign up for text or email alerts when your mail-in ballot is received and counted. You can call (877) 766-8683 to find out your provisional ballot status, according to Nevada’s explainer.
You can find out when your ballot was received from the clerk’s office.
Garden Staters can check their ballots at the state’s website.
Absentee ballot tracking is available.
Check on your absentee ballot with the state’s voter lookup website.
There’s one system for checking absentee ballot status and another for viewing provisional ballot status.
Mail-in ballots can be tracked at a statewide portal.
Ohio offers statewide tracking for mail-in ballots. Just choose your county on the map.
Check the status of absentee ballots at ok.gov/elections/OVP.html.
Oregon mails a ballot to every registered voter. They can be tracked at the state’s “My Vote” site.
Pennsylvania offers tracking for mail-in ballots, but there are some quirks you should know about as the system relies on confusing language.
Check the status of your mail-in ballot at vote.sos.ri.gov.
You can track to see if your absentee ballot has been received, but the state reportedly has no plans to display whether that vote was accepted.
South Dakota’s tracking website will show the date an absentee ballot was received, but not if it was accepted or rejected, the state told HuffPost.
Mail-in ballots can be tracked in Tennessee.
Ballot tracking is available at the secretary of state’s website.
The state says people whose votes are rejected will be contacted with instructions on how to fix the problem, but voters can also check the status of both mail-in and provisional ballots at vote.utah.gov.
Check the status of your mail-in ballot at mvp.vermont.gov.
Head to elections.virginia.gov to track a mail-in vote.
Enter your name and birthdate at the state’s voter information portal and you can see if your ballot reached its destination.
In the Mountain State, you can track the status of both absentee and provisional ballots.
Voters in Wisconsin can view their election history and track absentee ballots.
“Contact your county clerk for information,” says the website of the Wyoming Secretary of State. The state does not have general online ballot tracking, but it does publish a single list tracking the ballot status of military and overseas voters, listed by voter ID number.
Janie Campbell contributed reporting. This article has been updated.